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Posts Tagged “Senior Exercise”

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!

Two Great Options to Improve Senior Fitness

senior fitnessWe all know that staying active as we age can provide tremendous health benefits; yet, it can be a challenge to encourage our elder loved ones to exercise. Fear of falling and decreased mobility can have a cascade effect in which the senior avoids the risk of activity, leading to further inactivity, which then results in weakness, increased loss of mobility and fall risk.

One solution is to encourage your loved one to get involved in a senior fitness class that involves tai chi or yoga. The top Surprise home care agency, Nightingale Homecare, shares details on the benefits of both of these types of exercise.

Tai Chi

Although tai chi was originally a martial art originating over 700 years ago, it is mainly practiced today as an excellent form of exercise and is often described as “meditation in motion.” The essential principles of tai chi include mind integrated with the body, control of movements and breathing, generating internal energy, mindfulness, stretching and serenity.

The Taoist Tai Chi Organization recently compiled the results of a survey of over 3,000 members in 29 states pointing to the health benefits of tai chi practice. While we all know that stretching and movement exercise can improve health overall, health benefits for those with chronic conditions and mobility issues are especially notable. Tai chi can be practiced by anyone of any age, because it is individualized and has significant appeal to the elderly.

The questionnaire compiled by the Taoist organization found that tai chi students experienced significant improvement in:

  • Balance
  • Posture
  • Energy/stamina/endurance
  • Depression/stress/anxiety
  • Circulation
  • Muscle issues
  • Injuries
  • Cognitive function
  • Blood Pressure
  • Sleep quality

Yoga

Yoga is another form of low-impact exercise that has tremendous health benefits for the elderly. As we get older, muscles tend to stiffen, our joints lose their range of motion and we become more susceptible to chronic problems such as osteoporosis, arthritis and heart disease. Yoga can help slow down the effects of the aging process by maintaining muscle softness and flexibility, keeping the mind alert and awake, encouraging relaxation and strengthening muscles and joints. Yoga can also:

  • Reduce swelling in joints
  • Increase joint mobility and strength
  • Improve balance and stability
  • Reduce chances of having a fall
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Aid digestion and elimination
  • Improve sleep
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Improve blood flow
  • Improve mood and wellbeing
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Aid in the grieving process
  • With depression and anxiety

It will be important for you to check out the yoga class prior to your loved one beginning classes, as there are several intensity degrees. Start by calling your local yoga studio to find out if they have a gentle, beginners’ class appropriate for the elderly. Remember, yoga isn’t supposed to hurt, so remind your loved one to move out of a pose if he or she feels pain.

With any senior fitness program, encourage your loved one to start slow and try to stay consistent. Regular tai chi or yoga practice can play an important part in keeping your loved one healthy and feeling strong. Practicing with your loved one can provide support and encouragement that may be necessary to continue a regular exercise plan.

For more senior fitness tips, or for in-home care assistance to keep your senior loved one healthy, contact Nightingale Homecare’s Surprise home care agency at (602) 504-1555.

 

The Critical Role of Exercise in the Elderly, and How Home Care Services Can Help

home care servicesAccording to the US Census Bureau, adults age 65 years and older are now the largest and fastest growing segment of our population – predicted to increase from 12% now to 20% by the year 2030. And incredibly, the number of seniors aged 85 and older will more than double, to as many as 8.5 million.

Because more Americans are living longer, and the growth of our older adult population will increase exponentially, it is important to have a better understanding of older adults and their activity levels. It is well known that exercise/activity limitations increase as we age, but research also supports that higher levels of physical activity can delay the progression of chronic health conditions and physical disability. Additionally, it is well documented that regular activity and exercise actually reduce the risk of falling in the elderly, and as we have reported earlier, falls can result in long-term activity limitations and also death.

And yet, in spite of all the evidence pointing to the benefits of regular exercise in the elderly, the rate of exercise in adults 65 and older is the lowest of all age groups. Less than 10% of older adults report that they participate in any regular vigorous active, while more than 40% say they engage in no physical activity at all.

Identifying and addressing the barriers to physical activity in the elderly will be important in improving the health in this growing population. The notable benefits of exercise, and the impact of physical inactivity on our community and our elders, are of growing importance to all of us, including family caregivers as well as those who provide home care services.

The CDC offers much information on exercise and the elderly. Barriers to exercise cited by the CDC include:

  • Poor health
  • Lack of time or motivation
  • Perceived inability
  • Adverse environments
  • Social concerns
  • Fear of pain

The site also includes information on addressing these barriers to help our older adults transition from an inactive lifestyle to a healthier, more active one.

Of course, your elder loved one’s excuse or barrier to lack of regular exercise is the one that is of primary importance to you! This general list provided by the CDC will help you identify what barrier or barriers your loved one perceives to be his or her limitation. You can then enlist the help of his or her physician to work towards overcoming those barriers.

Our Phoenix home care services can help tremendously as well, by ensuring your loved one gets the exercise needed to improve health and mobility and ensure activity levels are maintained. Call us at 602-504-1555 to learn more about our customizable senior care solutions.

Posted in Aging Issues, Blog, Senior Health on August 17th, 2016 · Comments Off on The Critical Role of Exercise in the Elderly, and How Home Care Services Can Help