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Take Steps to Better Senior Health: Exercises for Any Ability Level

Portrait of a smiling senior woman lifting dumbbells during a workout session in her living room at home

One of the keys to senior health is staying physically active.

It’s one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for good reason: exercising more has numerous benefits for all of us, regardless of age or ability level. As one of the leading caregiver agencies in Phoenix, AZ and surrounding areas, we at Nightingale Homecare encourage all of the seniors in our care (with doctors’ approval, of course) to stay as physically active as possible and to achieve maximum health and wellbeing. Just some of the many ways exercise is good for senior health include:

  • Improved blood pressure
  • Better blood sugar management
  • Lower levels of lipids in the blood
  • Enhanced joint and bone health
  • Preserved cognitive functioning
  • A healthier immune system
  • A boost in metabolism and better GI functioning
  • More confidence
  • The release of endorphins that help improve mood
  • And so much more

Many older adults, however, experience a decline in physical activity throughout aging, and while it’s true that some exercises may not be realistic or safe for some seniors to engage in, there are plenty of modifications that can be made and alternative activities with equal health benefits.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

Aerobics:

Cardio exercise is extremely important for heart and lung health. The typical recommendation is 30 minutes per day, but it’s perfectly fine to break this 30-minute period into smaller chunks throughout the day. Water exercises are low-impact and a great choice for many seniors; check with the local YMCA or senior center for classes specifically geared toward older adults.

Strength/Resistance:

Strength and resistance training help strengthen the bones and improve balance, which can prevent falls. These types of exercises can be done two or three times each week for maximum benefit, and can include simple, repetitive motions with small weights or resistance bands. Even a bottle of water or can of soup lifted up and down with each arm for two or three sets of ten can help build endurance.

Stretching:

Warming up and cooling down with stretching exercises helps prevent any stiffness or soreness in muscles after exercising, and also helps seniors maintain flexibility. Yoga and Pilates exercises are great ways to isolate different muscle groups to focus on and to develop a strong core, leading to better balance and posture. The YMCA or senior center can again be helpful, offering these types of classes specifically for older adults.

Our aging care experts love nothing more than helping the seniors in our care enjoy life to the fullest and to remain as healthy, safe, and independent as possible. One of the many ways we can help is by providing the motivation, encouragement, and support to enjoy staying physically active. We’ll even exercise right along with your senior loved one – it’s always more fun with a friend!

We’re also on hand to provide transportation and accompaniment to exercise classes, to prepare healthy meals, run errands, and so much more that leads to an overall better quality of life.

Contact us and ask for your free in-home consultation to find out more about our customized in-home care services for seniors. You can reach us any time at (602) 505-1555.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year, New You: Exercises for Seniors to Overcome a Sedentary Lifestyle

exercises for seniors

Try these exercises for seniors to improve overall health.

Staying physically active, regardless of age, is vital for all of us, and although it can be challenging for older adults who are impacted by chronic health conditions or other effects of aging, there are a number of ways to work around these challenges to maximize health.

Prior to starting any new exercise program, be sure to consult with the senior’s primary care physician and any other specialists to receive approval and recommendations. Also bear in mind that small beginnings are still great beginnings! Even just a few minutes of activity repeated several times over the course of each day can make a big impact, and is a wonderful starting point from which to increase over time.

At Nightingale Homecare, the top providers of senior care in Glendale, AZ and the surrounding areas, our focus is always on helping seniors thrive and live life to their fullest potential. To that end, we’ve compiled some exercises for seniors that can help overcome a sedentary lifestyle and start the new year off right:

  • Aerobic Activities: If possible, these activities are a wonderful way to strengthen the heart as well as a variety of muscle groups:
    • Swimming and water aerobics
    • Dancing
    • Bowling
    • Walking
    • Tai Chi
  • Resistance Activities: Utilizing resistance bands can be helpful in strengthening and toning muscles. Even as little as one day per week of strength training helps seniors prevent the risk of falls and other injuries, while enhancing independence.
  • Flexibility Activities: Stretching gives flexibility a boost, while allowing for enhanced range of motion. Yoga classes are often the perfect choice for low-impact flexibility exercises.
  • Alzheimer’s Activities: Even when Alzheimer’s disease is a factor, there are a wide range of physical activities that can be tried, and as the disease progresses, simply provide extra supervision and modifications as appropriate. For example, repetition is often a comfort to those with dementia, so try incorporating daily activities like folding laundry, riding a stationary bicycle, and walking to improve the senior’s physical and psychological wellbeing.

Motivating seniors to adhere to an ongoing exercise program is key. These suggestions can help make exercising something enjoyable that the senior can look forward to:

  • Keep it a team effort. It’s always better to exercise with a friend or loved one.
  • Play fun, upbeat music while exercising.
  • Designate set times each day for exercise, making it a priority.
  • Offer incentives and rewards for reaching goals to help keep the senior – and yourself! – motivated.

Contact Nightingale Homecare for a trusted partner in creating and implementing an ideal exercise plan for a senior you love! Our fully trained and experienced care team is always available to provide the support and encouragement to make each day the best it can be for the older adults we have the honor of serving. Call us any time at (602) 504-1555 and arrange for a free in-home consultation to learn more about our professional senior care in Glendale, AZ and the surrounding areas!