Staying fit is easier as we age when we make it a lifestyle choice.
When exercise is a part of your senior’s everyday routine, not only do they develop the habit of working out, they’re much less likely to stop or interrupt it when it becomes a habit.
But how do you help your loved one begin a fitness regimen, especially when they’re experiencing the aches and pains associated with arthritis and other conditions that affect health and mobility?
FHC suggests consulting a doctor before beginning any work out plan. A brisk walk might be a good starting point if your older loved one hasn’t exercised in a while. Their physician will know the best routine to meet their needs.
Exercising With Discomfort
It’s tempting to avoid working out when any movement at all causes discomfort, but according to some experts, it’s all a normal part of staying in shape. “Effort and discomfort go together and that’s what most people would call good pain – you generally expect to feel some level of discomfort,” says Carly Ryan, exercise physiologist at Exercise and Sports Science Australia.
Ryan does warn seniors that sharp or burning pain is something you shouldn’t feel during your work out. When that happens, she recommends stopping the activity.
Making Exercise Easy
Usually, things that are inaccessible, expensive or inconvenient can be a deterrent for older loved ones. One solution would be to incorporate the exercise into something they’re already planning to do. While attending a game or recital of a grandchild, instead of opting for the closest parking space, walk with them to the building or field. Taking a stroll around the mall or grocery store or finding path at a nearby park to walk are also ways to get in extra physical activity.
Making Exercise a Routine
There are many ways for your senior to slip exercise into their routine so that it feels like a normal part of what they already do.
At home, if mobility isn’t an issue, have them try walking up and down the stairs a few extra times a day or do some leg raises or toe stands while watching TV. While waiting for a spouse or friend to get ready for an outing, try doing some calf stretches or wall push-ups.
These exercises help strengthen legs and build endurance, while improving balance and movement.
Adding Exercise to Daily Chores
Maybe your loved one gardens or mows the lawn. Perhaps they love to spring clean or fix things. While it’s something they enjoy doing, these are all activities that require movement and can also burn extra calories in the process.
Benefits of Exercise
The advantages of exercise are numerous for older adults even if they are receiving in-home care or personalized elder care . Physical activity for thirty minutes a day helps maintain muscle strength and offers increased independence. It raises energy levels, improves moods, increases cognitive function, helps prevent emotional problems and depression, and speeds healing by 25 percent in active seniors.
If you are looking for senior home care near Chicago, Freedom Home Care is here to help. Get started with care today!