Throughout the aging process, the benefits of exercise continue to outweigh any barriers faced, and it’s vital for older adults’ overall health and wellbeing to maintain as active a lifestyle as possible. And while it’s particularly challenging for seniors who are confined to a bed or wheelchair to exercise, there are still plenty of elderly exercise options available to help boost strength, resistance and flexibility.
Always check first with the senior’s primary physician to get a recommendation and his/her approval for an elderly exercise program that will be safe and provide the most benefit the senior. When the senior first tries the exercises, bear in mind that even as little as a few minutes each day, repeated several times throughout the day, can have a great impact on the senior’s health.
Aerobics: If full body movements aren’t an option for the senior, there are exercises that can be done while seated to help build cardio strength. If possible, the following types of exercises are great to try:
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Tai Chi
Resistance Exercises: To build strength in muscle tissue, exercising with resistance weights, like elastic bands, can help. These bands can be obtained in a variety of tensile strengths for different strength levels. The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences states that even as little as one day per week of strength training helps enhance independence for older adults while reducing the risk of injury.
Flexibility Exercises: Stretching is great for improving flexibility and freedom of movement. Search for yoga classes at a local senior or recreation center.
Dementia Exercises: In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, a variety of exercise options can be tested to see how well they work well for the senior, and with additional supervision and some modifications, can be continued even later in the progression of the disease. Because repetition is often comforting to seniors with dementia, activities like folding laundry, walking, and riding a stationary bike are helpful for both the person’s physical and mental state.
Motivating your senior loved one to begin and then stick with an elderly exercise program is the key to success. These suggestions can help ensure it’s fun and something he or she will look forward to:
- Engage in the exercise program with your senior loved one. It’s always more fun to exercise with a buddy.
- Hire a trusted caregiver from the Charlotte, NC home care team at Comprehensive Home Care to engage in a senior exercise program with your loved one
- Turn on his or her favorite, upbeat music while exercising.
- Set aside dedicated time each day for exercise, and make sure to keep it a priority.
- Consider offering incentives or rewards for attaining milestones for motivation.
For more recommendations on helping seniors increase activity levels, contact the Charlotte, NC home care experts at Comprehensive Home Care. Our professional in-home caregivers are experienced in helping older adults thrive and enhance their overall health and wellbeing, and we love nothing more than knowing the seniors within our care are healthy and enjoying life to the fullest! Contact us at 704-333-5214 for more information on setting up an elderly exercise program to improve life for your senior loved one!