Exercise is vital for anyone’s health, no matter their age. Not only can it decrease your risk of heart disease and hypertension, it can also improve your mood and overall well-being.
Exercise is especially crucial for seniors. And doing so regularly can help keep them limber, agile and attentive.
If you’re looking to get your elderly loved one more physically active, it’s important to help them pick out activities that are a good fit for them.
Which exercises to do and which to avoid
There are plenty of physical activities suitable for older adults. However, there are activities older adults should avoid as well, as they could cause serious injuries or exacerbate existing health problems. Those activities include bench presses, leg presses, long-distance running and extreme sports like rock climbing.
Before you get your elderly loved one on an exercise regimen, you may want to check with their health care provider to see what they can handle.
Here are a few activities your elderly loved one may want to consider:
Water aerobics has become particularly popular among seniors. If your elderly loved one is living with arthritis or other types of joint pain, water aerobics can be a great way to help them cope and get them active. That’s because water aerobics can present a sense of buoyancy, as exercising in the pool can decrease joint stress and allow older adults to improve their strength, flexibility and balance.
There are multiple water aerobic exercises seniors can choose from. Some of these include:
- Flutter kicking
- Leg lifts
- Aqua jogging
- Arm curls
- Water push-ups
Nothing gets you outside or boosts your mood quite like a brisk walk through the woods or neighborhood. It’s one of the most accessible and least stressful forms of exercise for anyone, especially seniors. And while it isn’t rigorous, walking can promote long-term health for older adults in numerous ways. It can reduce joint pain, lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and colon cancer.
There’s no better workout for the body or the mind quite like yoga. And for older adults with stiff joints and aching backs, yoga can help reduce the discomfort and manage the pain. Of course, older adults may want to stick to certain yoga positions that don’t strain their aging bones and muscles too much. Here are a few that can work:
- Mountain pose: This pose can help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Upward salute: Helps with back pain and stiffness.
- Warrior pose: Helps stretch hamstrings and hips while strengthening the legs.
- Cobra pose: Helps strengthen the legs, arms and upper back.
Older adults can lose muscle mass over time. However, muscle loss can be preventable with exercises like bodyweight workouts. These workouts can counteract the effects of muscle atrophy in older adults. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable workouts, as all you need are an exercise mat, a stool or ergonomic chair and some good workout clothes. There are also a lot of bodyweight workouts to choose from, such as:
- Side-lying circles
- Chair squats
- Leg lifts
- Bird dog
There’s no better time to get physically active
When they find an activity they enjoy, older adults can live longer and combat some of the negative effects that come with aging, no matter their age.
A home health aide from Pinnacle Home Care can help guide your elderly loved one and keep them active as they age.
For more information on what a home health aide can do for you, check out Pinnacle Home Care’s website and give us a call today. Someone from our team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.