Exercise for seniors is not only beneficial, it’s extremely crucial to uphold as active a way of life as possible. Even seniors who are confined to a bed or wheelchair-bound have a variety of possibilities available to strengthen, increase resistance and flexibility.
The first step is always to consult the physician to get a recommendation on the best exercises for older persons that match your loved one’s activity level and medical history. At first, exercising even for as little as a few minutes every day, repeated several times during the day, can dramatically improve the older adult’s health and wellbeing.
Following are examples of the best exercises for seniors:
- Aerobics: If whole body movements are not feasible, exercises from a sitting position can be found to improve cardio strength. When possible, good possibilities include:
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Tai Chi
- Resistance Exercises: To strengthen and build muscles, resistance exercises can be performed with elastic bands, which can be found in a variety of tensile strengths. The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences shares that even just one day per week of resistance training helps older adults retain independence and decrease the chance of injuries.
- Flexibility Exercises: Stretching exercises help enhance flexibility and range of motion. Search for yoga classes at local senior or recreation centers.
- Dementia Exercises: In the initial stages of Alzheimer’s especially, a range of exercise possibilities are possible, and with enhanced supervision and some adjustments, can be continued as the disease progresses. Because repetition is typically comforting to those with dementia, activities including walking, riding a stationary bicycle, and folding laundry are beneficial to both the older adult’s physical and mental state.
Motivating your older loved one to start and then stay with an exercise program is integral to success. Try these tips to make it something interesting that he or she will look forward to:
- Join in an exercise program with the older adult. It’s always more fun to exercise with a partner.
- Include favorite, upbeat music.
- Set aside dedicated time each and every day expressly for physical fitness, and make it a priority.
- Designate incentives or rewards for obtaining goals.
For more resources on helping seniors increase activity levels, contact San Diego Home Caregivers, providers of in-home elder help in San Diego, CA and the surrounding areas. Our skilled caregivers are knowledgeable in helping seniors thrive and improve their overall wellbeing, and we love nothing more than knowing the seniors in our care are healthy and living life to the fullest! Contact us at 619.487.9000 to learn more!