23 July 2018
Bathrooms are one of, if not thee, highest risk areas in the home; especially as we start to age. Combinations like decreasing balance and mobility, poor eyesight, unsuitable fixtures and fittings, coupled with general deteriorations of health and stature all make for a recipe of potential disaster.
Usually starting to struggle getting in or out of the bath in the first instance. This is commonly a direct result of no longer having the upper body strength required to pull yourself up and out of the water or no longer having the confidence in your balance to be able to step up and over the side of the bath.
As we age, lean body mass naturally decreases resulting in less tone and muscles that are unable contract due to tissue wastage. As the number and size of fibres decrease they take longer to respond.
A natural aging process, sarcopenia, a condition affecting the skeletal muscle that causes them to wither and weaken, usually appears at the age of 40 and accelerates quite aggressively post the age of 75, which is a major cause of most disabilities in the elderly.
Although we would always suggest, especially if you fall into the above category, to consider some bathroom alternations; usually in the form of an accessible bathroom, mobility wet room or a level access shower for the elderly, there are a number of benefits to improving your strength through regular exercise...
Strength training in our senior years not only improves endurance, flexibility, balance, agility and hand eye co-ordination, it also helps counter the effects of muscle atrophy; muscle wastage due to lack of psychical activity.
Whether you’re wanting to build muscle or slow the loss of it, there are a number of resistance based weight training exercises and muscle encouraging fitness activities / classes that you can adopt into your weekly routine to increase your safety in the bathroom, which in turn will improve your quality of life.
If your joints are a cause for concern we would recommend weight assist machines rather than free weights. Helping with form to prevent the likelihood of an injury, you should concentrate on low weight and low impact movements that focus on the arms, shoulders, back and legs.
If you’re new to the gym always consult a personal trainer and ask them to show you what to do and challenge them on their expertise – tell that what you’re aim is and ask them to come up with personal plan.
Similar to weight machines, partaking in a number of fitness activities or classes can not only improve muscle mass and quality of life; it can also increase balance, agility and flexibility – it’s also a great way to get out and meet new people too!
Activities like Yoga and Tai Chi are proven in practice – give them a go and find out for yourself! Most gyms offer these as classes however your local community may also have some ongoing activities so ask around.
We hope you found the above strength training exercises and fitness classes useful; if you take any of them up we’d love to hear how this has improved your health!
For complete peace of mind we’d always suggest exploring all your options, including what bathroom alternations could be suitable for you or your loved ones. A company specialising in the design and installation of accessible bathrooms, mobility wet rooms or a level access showers for the elderly we’d be more than happy to help. To find out more, or to book a free home survey with an experienced surveyor call More Ability on 0113 201 5030.
More Ability, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshires leading and most experienced bath & shower room specialist for all types of stylish, safe & practical and bespoke solutions. Offering a fully project managed design & installation service we pride ourselves on meeting individual wants, needs and aspirational requirements for both the public & private sector.