Bed Exercises for Elderly People Looking to Stay Healthy

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There are various bed exercises that you can try whether you’re a bedridden patient or unable to stay out of bed due to health conditions.

These exercises will keep you active and fit. A healthy body is one that moves, stretches, and relaxes constantly.

All the exercises we’ll talk about here aim at providing you the much-needed activity with as little hassle as possible.

Let's dive right in.

bed exercises for elderly

Why do bed exercises matter? How do they help me?

Bed exercises are very important for you if you have the risk of forming ulcers when bedridden. Pressure sores are highly likely to develop during prolonged periods on the bed. These exercises are right for you if you’re in a similar situation.

But it’s important to note that even if pressure sores aren’t a potential risk, bed exercises are still beneficial for bedridden patients and older adults with health issues as they help keep their body active, healthy, and fit. As a result, you can expect to have an easier, more fun, and more confident life.

Some of these exercises might not be recommended for you. Always check with your physician if it’s okay.

Leg lifts

Leg lifts are ideal for you if you’re strong enough to do them. These are the best way to utilize your condition. Doing several leg lifts throughout the day will keep problems at bay. Leg lifts are the number one solution to pressure sores as well. The process for a leg lift is fairly simple:

  • Slowly and gently bring your right leg up.
  • Make it come up until the hip joint.
  • Hold for around 15-20 seconds in this position.
  • Slowly bring the leg back down.
  • Repeat with the left leg.

Arm lifts

Arm lifts are similar to leg lifts in looks but very different in work. In fact, arm lifts are a type of strength training and might require the help of a physician or caregiver if you have serious health conditions.

 An arm lift is truly as simple as it sounds. Lift your arm up, hold there, then slowly bring it back down. How much you want to lift it depends on your comfort level with the exercise. Try to go as high as possible without pain. If you cannot hold for more than 10 seconds, give this exercise some time and you’ll be ready to do 15-20 second holds within a few weeks.

Palm stretching

Palm stretches are a basic stretching exercise ideal for bedridden patients. This is one of the simplest exercises you’ll ever encounter. Palm stretching helps build mobility tolerance.

  • Bring your hand closer to your body.
  • Open the palm, extend the fingers, and hold in this position.
  • Touch the thumb with each finger.
  • Repeat several times on both palms.

Leg strengthening exercises for the bedridden

There are many types of exercises aimed at strengthening the legs. We’ll be discussing some of the best and safest ones here. Regaining strength in your legs can take longer than in other situations. But elderlies can definitely regain the strength in their legs and have a normal walk once again.

Try to do at least 10 sets each for any of these exercises. Whenever holds are mentioned, 20 seconds will suffice. If you have health issues affecting your legs, then make the holds 10 seconds each.

Additionally, use a yoga mat on the bed to do these exercises.

Each exercise begins with you lying flat and relaxed on the mat. Firmly place your body so that the weight is equally distributed across your torso. Don’t tighten any muscles beforehand.

Avoid exercising a leg that’s injured or ask your physician for guidance. With aid from a caregiver, you might do exercises on an injured leg as well.

Quad sets

  • Bend the knee of your leg at 90 degrees. You can grasp it with your hands.
  • The other leg should rest flat on the bed.
  • Start lifting the other leg slowly.
  • Lift it at least 10-12 inches from the bed.
  • Hold in this position.
  • Slowly place your leg back on the bed.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Glute sets

  • Lift one leg and slightly bend it at the knee.
  • Then, lift your bottom off the bed while tightening the muscles.
  • Hold in this position then relax the muscles.
  • Exhale and return to the original position.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Hamstring sets

  • Lie face-down.
  • Raise one leg backward about 10 inches off the bed.
  • Hold in this position.
  • Steadily lower the leg back on the bed.
 Take a deep breath and repeat on the other leg.

How to increase the effectiveness of these exercises?

Bed exercises for elderly people looking to stay healthy, active, and fit can be improved in various ways. The first method is to use resistance bands while exercising. If you’re able to do these exercises comfortably and painlessly, resistance bands are highly recommended.

Increasing the number of repetitions weekly is a great way to increase the effectiveness of these exercises. Going back to a normal routine and a normal walk after an injury can take a while. These exercises will help speed up your recovery.

Usually, full recovery from being bedridden can range anywhere from 10-15 weeks in most cases. If you include a few of the exercises we’ve mentioned throughout the piece in a daily routine of sorts, you can significantly cut down on your recovery period.

Final thoughts

Depending on which areas need your focus, you can choose from several different types of bed exercises for elderly people. However, discussing any exercise with your physician beforehand is very important so that you don’t hurt yourself more than helping.

 These exercises are a great alternative to paid in-home therapy.

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