Exercise is a vital part of life for all of us, even, and particularly, as we grow older. Although it can be a challenge for seniors who are experiencing the impacts of aging, or who spend most of their time in a wheelchair, there are still countless ways to incorporate exercise into daily life to build muscle strength, and improve resistance and flexibility.
Keep in mind, it’s important before starting any new exercise plan to first get approval from the senior’s doctor. And to start, keep it simple and short: even as few as several minutes each day, repeated several times during the course of the day, can make a difference.
- Aerobic Exercises: If possible for the senior, these aerobic options are great for strengthening the heart and muscles, and for building endurance:
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Tai Chi
- Resistance Exercises: Try resistance bands to build and tone muscles. Just one day each week of strength training can help older adults maintain independence and lower the risk of injury.
- Flexibility Exercises: Stretching exercises boost flexibility and allow for better range of motion. A good option is trying a yoga class, which can often be found at your local senior or recreation center.
- Exercises for Alzheimer’s: There are a number of exercises that can be helpful in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, and with supervision and modifications, can be continued even as the disease advances. Because repetition is often a comfort to someone with dementia, activities like folding laundry, walking, and riding a stationary bike can be extremely beneficial.
Providing motivation to seniors to maintain an exercise program is key. These tips can help make exercise an enjoyable experience that your loved one will look forward to:
- Make it a team effort. It’s always better to exercise with a companion.
- Turn on some upbeat music.
- Set aside time each day for exercise, and make it a priority.
- Provide incentives and rewards to keep both you and your loved one motivated.
Senior HomeCare of Tucson is always on hand to help older adults remain active and engaged, and to provide the companionship that makes exercise fun! Contact us any time at 520-355-4787 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more about how we can help the seniors you love experience life to the fullest with the help of our Tucson senior services.