4 Types of Exercises That Help Seniors Stay Active
As you think of all the ways that you can care for your aging parent or loved one, encouraging exercise and physical activity should be on the top of your list. Being active can help seniors in a variety of ways, from benefiting cognitive functioning to maintaining physical strength.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only approximately 28 to 34% of seniors aged 65-74 are physically active. While the numbers are slightly higher for seniors 75 and older— 35 to 44%— there’s still ample room for improvement.
Of course, improvement takes dedication and cannot simply be spoken into existence, like an afterthought. One of the easiest ways to keep the senior in your life motivated in a regular workout routine is to make each workout different and interesting. You should also have someone to hold them accountable and monitor their exercising, like a personal trainer or CARE Attendant.
Since it’s recommended that seniors get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, every week, it’s necessary to shake things up, even if it feels slightly uncomfortable for both of you at first. Trust us, once your beloved senior family member is finally sticking to their workout routine, you’ll be glad to have utilized these four various types of exercises.
Endurance exercises are important for heart and cardiovascular health. Not only do these types of exercises promote healthy breathing and a happy heart, but they also regulate weight. Endurance exercises encourage the continuation of normal, everyday life happenings, preventing seniors from losing energy too quickly. Common examples include walking, jogging, swimming, and dancing.
One of the best ways to keep muscles healthy and strong is through strength training. Just be sure to consult your loved one’s physician first, so they don’t overexert themselves. It’s best to slowly build strength, using small weights and light reps. Common examples include basic weight lifting with dumbbells and resistance-based exercises like TRX.
Flexibility is an often overlooked component of physical health, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Flexibility decreases the risk for injury, while helping joints run through their full range of motion and enabling muscles to work more effectively. Flexibility training is made up of the following stretches: dynamic, ballistic, static active, static passive, isomeric, and PNF.
Out of all our fitness suggestions, balance exercises are among the most important for seniors, helping to prevent falls— a problem that hospitalizes over 800,000 people each year. Balance exercises are also some of the easiest to complete at home, under the watchful eye of your trainer or caregiver. Common routines focus on tai chi, yoga, and pilates.
Amp up the momentum of physical exercise to help the senior in your life! See which ways our CARE Attendants can assist with our various offerings for Elder Care.
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