These activities support physical movement and mental health, and they are easy for many people, at any age!
It can be difficult for seniors to get the exercise they need, and we all know that getting enough exercise is crucial to overall health, no matter what the age. But seniors often have challenges with exercise because of physical or mobility restrictions.
In some cases, just finding someone to exercise with can be difficult. But you can help. By exercising with a senior loved one, you enhance their mental and physical well-being. So, what exercises can you do together to increase their quality of life? Try these three basic and fun activities:
Walking is one of the best exercise you can do at any age. According numerous studies, routine walking, even at small distances, helps seniors in particular stay mobile and independent. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people between the ages of 70 and 89 who walked regularly were 28% less likely to become disabled than people who simply participated in a program of education and light-stretching. They were also less likely to have any episode of physical disability on a temporary basis.
For elderly individuals, walking provides a low-impact, easily-accessible exercise that nearly anyone can do. But as we all know, walking is much more enjoyable when you have someone to talk to. While it may not qualify as “at-home,” since you’ll likely leave the house, this is a great exercise that has many benefits for seniors.
Light weight lifting
Easy weight lifting, or even weightless upper body arm movements, can improve and maintain strength, flexibility, and coordination. This is also a great way for seniors to get a quality workout even if they can’t stand or balance by themselves.
From the comfort of a chair, an individual can do shoulder extensions, curls, and other exercises that move the muscles and keep the arms in working condition. If no weights are around that are light enough, an eight-ounce can of soup is perfect for adding resistance while keeping the workout light and easy.
If your loved one has outdoor space, or simply enjoys indoor plants and flowers, consider light gardening as an exercise. The Better Health Channel, an Australian based health-information source, outlines numerous benefits for the elderly who garden, including better motor skills with reduced stress. It promotes relaxation, provides an interesting activity, and can even improve endurance and strength.
You can help with indoor or outdoor gardening by bringing the right supplies and information to make the activity a fun, enjoyable activity for seniors.
Advice, support, and care for seniors in South Florida
If you need assistance keeping your senior loved one healthy and active, work with a team that is dedicated to outstanding service and support, including advice on the best exercises for seniors. For 17 years, we have been the go-to choice for senior home healthcare in Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, Indian River, and St. Lucie Counties. We would love to help with your home healthcare needs. Get in touch with a professional home health aide by calling us at 877.618.3624. You can also complete our online form and we’ll reach out to you.
Written by Bart Delsing