As we age, it becomes arguably more and more important for us to stay physically active. Many people go into senior care living programs and begin to lose their mobility as a result of retreating to a sedentary lifestyle, which can speed up the aging process. By exercising regularly, senior citizens can defer health issues like arthritis and heart disease, while keeping their brains sharp and morale high.
In this article, we will look at ways that seniors can integrate exercise into their regular routines – safely and over time.
Incorporate physical activity into daily life
One of the best ways to encourage seniors to stay or become active is to look for ways that they can do so within their current day to day schedule. This could involve getting up to walk in place during television programs (or at least during commercial breaks). Look for light exercises that can be combined with cleaning or cooking, or create a new routine of walking around the block every day before lunch. Ideally, you should focus on exercises that work on endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
Stay safe while staying active
Of course, you do not want to put seniors at risk of getting injured, which is likely to be much more serious at their age. When doing stationary exercises, they should be close to a chair that can help them regain their balance. It is also always important to hydrate – even if they do not feel particularly thirsty. A good rule of thumb is, while exercising, they should still be able to talk with relative ease. Staying active in a group is not only more fun but is also a good way to make sure that everyone stays safe.
Keep up morale and motivation
It is hard to start a new routine. You might hear seniors say that they are too tired or busy to exercise. Or maybe they feel it is too boring or expensive for them. This is another way that groups make a big difference – having something on the calendar, or knowing it will be a social outlet is a great way to stay active. Look for free activities like walking (fresh air can do wonders) or lifting bottles of water. Encouragement from family can also go a long way.
Many may worry that exercise might put seniors at a greater risk of getting hurt. However, regular exercise will increase their strength so they are actually less likely to injure themselves. The important part is to do things at their own pace and in a safe way.
Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash