The advantages of exercise don’t diminish as we age, and it’s extremely crucial for older adults to maintain as active a lifestyle as possible. Even if bedridden or wheelchair-bound, a full range of options of workouts for seniors is available to strengthen, enhance resistance and flexibility.
The initial step is always to consult with the physician to get a recommendation and approval for an exercise program that’s attainable for the individual. Initially, working out even as little as a few minutes a day, repeated several times throughout the day, can significantly enhance the senior’s health.
Following are several types of exercise to consider for seniors:
- Aerobic Exercises: If full body movements aren’t possible, exercises from a seated position are available to build cardiovascular strength. When possible, good options include:
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Tai Chi
- Resistance Exercises: To enhance and strengthen muscles, resistance workouts can be performed with elastic bands, obtainable in a number of tensile strengths. The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences states that even only one day per week of resistance training helps older adults maintain independence and reduce the risk of injuries.
- Flexibility Exercises: Stretching exercises help improve flexibility and freedom of movement. Check for yoga classes at local senior or activity centers.
- Alzheimer’s Exercises: In the first phases of Alzheimer’s especially, a number of exercise options can be found, and with increasing supervision and some modifications, can be continued while the disease progresses. Since repetition can be a comfort to those with Alzheimer’s disease, activities such as walking, riding a stationary bike, and folding laundry are beneficial to both the person’s physical and mental state.
Encouraging your senior family member to begin and then stick with an exercise program is key to success. Try these tips to ensure it is something fun that he or she will look forward to:
- Participate in an exercise regime with the older adult. It is always more fun to exercise with a buddy.
- Add favorite, upbeat music.
- Set aside committed time each day for exercise, and make it a priority.
- Designate incentives or rewards for attaining milestones.
For more ideas on workouts for seniors and other tips on helping older adults increase activity levels, contact Visiting Angels Senior Homecare in Fremont, CA. Our professional in-home caregivers are experienced in helping older adults thrive and enhance their overall wellbeing, and we love nothing more than knowing the older adults within our care are healthy and enjoying life to the fullest! Call us at 408-735.-0977 or 510-284-0000 to find out more!