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 respite care in Phoenix 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
- 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!