From Frail to Fit: Best Exercises for Seniors
The benefits of exercise don’t diminish as we age, and it’s incredibly important for older adults to maintain as active a lifestyle as possible. Even those who are bedridden or wheelchair-bound have a full range of options available to strengthen, improve resistance and flexibility.
The first step is always to check with the physician to get a recommendation on the best exercises for seniors that fit with your loved one’s activity level and medical history. Initially, exercising even for as little as a few minutes a day, repeated several times throughout the day, can greatly enhance the senior’s health and wellbeing.
Following are several examples of the best exercises for seniors:
- Aerobic Exercises: If whole body movements aren’t possible, exercises from a seated position are available to build cardio strength. When possible, good options include:
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Tai Chi
- Resistance Exercises: To build and strengthen muscles, resistance exercises can be performed with elastic bands, available in a variety of tensile strengths. The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences reports that even just 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 recreation centers.
- Alzheimer’s Exercises: In the early stages of Alzheimer’s especially, a variety of exercise options are available, and with increasing supervision and some modifications, can be continued as the disease progresses. Since repetition is often a comfort to those with Alzheimer’s disease, activities such as walking, riding a stationary bicycle, and folding laundry are beneficial to both the person’s physical and mental state.
Encouraging your senior loved one to begin and then stick with an exercise program is key to success. Try these ideas to make it something fun that he or she will look forward to:
- Participate in an exercise program with the senior. It’s always more fun to exercise with a buddy.
- Add favorite, upbeat music.
- Set aside dedicated time each day specifically for exercise, and make it a priority.
- Designate incentives or rewards for achieving milestones.
For more tips on helping older adults increase activity levels, contact Hired Hands Homecare. Our professional California in-home caregivers are experienced in helping seniors thrive and enhance their overall wellbeing, and we love nothing more than knowing the seniors in our care are healthy and enjoying life to the fullest! Call us at 866-940-4343 to learn more!