8 Ways to Keep Seniors Moving
As people age, they often tend to grow less active as their body grows slower. However, staying physically active is even more crucial for seniors, as it improves and maintains their overall well-being.
Staying active is proven to have a positive impact on a multitude of age-related health concerns, such as heart diseases, diabetes, some types of cancer, depression and dementia. Furthermore, physical activity helps reduce pain, increase flexibility and balance, and ensures one’s independence and confidence.
Whether completely healthy, with limited mobility or dementia, here are 8 Ways to Keep Seniors Moving:
1. Outdoor Activities
Not only does going outside get you moving, it also provides an amazing dose of fresh air and sunlight! Spending time in nature has a direct effect on senior’s mental and physical health.
Going for a walk every day is one of the cheapest and most complete forms of exercise there is. While being a low-impact exercise, it is also a great way to get out of the house, break the isolation and get your daily steps in. Walking is also recommended for seniors with dementia, as it is part of a healthy lifestyle and routine.
2. Household Chores
Encouraging a senior to participate in household chores is a good way to keep them physically active. For example, setting up a schedule where the tasks are spread out over the week ensures the engagement with physical activity throughout the week. Also, keeping up with household chores usually gives seniors a feeling of independence that they like to maintain.
The great thing about exercising in water is that it guarantees a low-impact training. Low-impact workouts consist of exercises that are gentle on your joints. Needless to say, this is a great option for those who can’t walk for too long because of joint concerns.
Many aquatic workout classes for seniors are offered in sports and community centers. These are especially interesting for older adults as they are supervised, in low-level water, and are a great way to stay socially engaged.
In-water exercises are full-body workouts, meaning that they work the entire body, but in the gentlest way possible. Swimming is also good for the heart, and improves muscular strength and endurance.
4. Habit Change
Small changes in your daily life can make a huge difference. You can trick yourself into being more active on a smaller scale, and get results in the long run.
Despite what you might think, parking lots have a considerable fitness potential. If, whenever you are running an errand or going to an appointment, you park at the farthest point from the entrance, you will, in the long run, walk a lot more than you would have if you parked otherwise.
When given the option between stairs, elevator and escalator, you might want to prioritize the stairs. Climbing up stairs is a very good cardiovascular exercise that also engages your muscles. There is no need to climb them fast in the beginning, but you will find yourself at the top faster and more easily.
5. Chair Exercises
Seated exercises are convenient and available at all times. It is a low-level workout that can be ideal for older people with limited mobility, for people in physical recovery or simply for the winter months!
There are a lot of different seated exercises that you can find online, sometimes even accompanied with music and guided breathing techniques that resemble yoga. Rather than staying sedentary for too long, chair exercises can improve your circulation, flexibility and overall mood.
Taking care of a garden is a fun, creative and fulfilling way for seniors to stay active. This could go from having indoor potted plants, a herb garden or an actual flower and vegetable garden.
The satisfaction you get from seeing seedlings become thriving plants is priceless. Furthermore, not only does gardening bring joy and life to your day, it also demands effort, engagement and care to succeed. It might not be the most physically demanding activity, but it certainly is one of the most fun and satisfying.
Stretching is an exercise that does not demand a lot of energy or physical ability, and that still holds a lot of health benefits. It can increase one’s flexibility, blood flow, and mood, while reducing stress and articular pain.
For seniors, stretching is a great option in terms of physical activity since it also reduces the risks of getting injured. Daily stretching provides a wider range of motions, improves posture and eases day-to-day movements.
Whether you’re joining tea socials, dance classes or game nights, meeting people and making new friendships are great ways to stay happy and connected with the world. It also makes it easier to leave the house, to get active while having fun conversations and discovering new things.