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29 Nov 22 208 1 0

How to Make Seniors More Active

Cool Story - How to Make Seniors More Active

By Beth Plutner






Being active is an important part of a person’s overall health. As we get older, we may lose the motivation to be active. However, making exercise as part of a daily routine is just as important for seniors as it is for younger people. You may not know where to start in getting an elderly loved one or patient to be more active, but don’t worry. In reading this article, you’ll get all of the necessary information you’ll need to get a senior’s heart pumping. 







The case for seniors being active 

You may be wondering why a senior would need to be active anyway. You might feel a senior could easily be injured during exercise and that it’s not worth the risk. However, there are many health benefits related to senior exercise. Being active has been shown to improve a senior’s overall health, and has given them a reduced risk of getting sick. Exercise also helps seniors to build muscle and lose weight. Our metabolism slows down as we age, so it’s important for a senior to get in lots of strength and cardio exercise. 

  • Fun fact: Some benefits of a senior exercising include improvements in conditions like blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. 

 

More reasons a senior should be active

The heart is one of the most important parts of the body. If you want a senior to have the best heart health possible, encourage them to exercise. Being active will help to give a senior energy and improve their heart health. If you feel that your elderly loved one or patient needs to be more social, exercise can help with that too. You can organize an exercise group with other seniors in your area. Your loved one or patient can interact with other people their age while being more active.  

  • Tip: See if there are elderly walking or aerobics classes in your area that a senior can join. Working out with others is good for both their physical and mental health. 

 

Try aerobic exercises

One basic type of exercise that’s good for a senior to try are aerobic exercises. Examples of aerobic exercises include running, jogging, bike riding, and swimming. These types of exercises help to increase a senior’s breathing and heart rate. This in turn, gives a senior's body more access to oxygen and blood. Helping to keep a senior’s heart healthy will also keep their brain healthy, helping to ward off dementia.

  • Tip: If your loved one or patient enjoys music, help them to create a playlist of songs while they exercise. It can make a simple walk even more fun. 

 

Try strength exercises 

If a senior wants to build muscles, they need to try strength exercises.  Strength exercises use body weight and resistance to increase your muscle size and endurance. Examples of strength exercises include weight lifting, push-ups, and using resistance bands. These exercises will make a senior’s muscles work harder than usual, so make sure they warm up first.  

  • Tip: Aim for the senior to do these kinds of exercises at least twice a week. 

 

Try balance exercises 

We’ve all heard horror stories of seniors experiencing bad falls, but there’s something you can do to lessen the chance of this happening. Participating in balance exercises will help to strengthen a senior’s legs, to make them stronger and less likely to fall. Tai chi, yoga, and hiking are all good examples of exercises to help a senior strengthen their legs. These exercises will also improve a senior’s balance and coordination. 

  • Tip: These types of exercises are not guaranteed to prevent a senior from falling. Always keep a watchful eye on an elderly loved one or patient at all times. 

 

Try flexibility exercises 

The final type of exercise I’m going to talk about are flexibility exercises. This type of physical activity helps you to stay limber by stretching out your muscles. Pilates and stretches are good examples of flexibility exercises. Flexibility exercises will help to improve a senior’s posture, lessen aches and pains, and prevent falls. This is another type of exercise where the senior will benefit from stretching first. 

  • Fun fact: Flexibility exercises can help a senior to do everyday activities with more ease.

 

Make sure a senior doesn't overdo it

While regular exercise can give a senior a lot of benefits, it’s important that they don’t go too far. Consult the senior’s doctor first before starting any type of exercise. Tell them about the senior’s health conditions and any other important information. Physical activity should not be too strenuous. If a senior has diabetes, schedule the exercises around their meals and treatment. A senior should start exercising slowly, and add more bit by bit. If a senior feels any kind of pain or shortness of breath, they should stop immediately, and you should contact their doctor. Exercise should make a senior’s body feel better, not worse

  • Tip: Have the senior warm up in the beginning and cool down afterwards, to prevent injury. Have water nearby as well. 

  • Tip: Create an exercise schedule for the senior for at least two or three times a week. This will make it easier for the exercise to become a part of their daily routine. 

 

Do you have an elderly loved one that needs care? Unable to be for them all the time due to work or other commitments? Then you need a virtual care companion! Here at WeJob.org and WeJob.org/seniors, we care about helping take care of the elderly in all ways possible. Our companions are trained to take care of the elderly as if they were their own family. Your loved one will be given entertainment, companionship, and a guardian. For more information, go to https://wejob.org/virtual-care-for-seniors

















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