No matter how old your aging relative is or how long it has been since they regularly exercised, it’s never too late to improve their health through physical activity. However, it’s important that the older adult exercises safely or it could do more harm than good. Below are some tips for seniors to follow to ensure they stay safe no matter what kind of exercise they choose to try.
See a Doctor
Before your older family member starts a new exercise routine, they should see a doctor to make certain they are healthy enough. Tell the doctor what kind of exercise the person is planning to do and how often. If you’re not sure, the doctor may be able to suggest safe forms and amounts of exercise.
Don’t Take on Too Much
Sometimes people get excited about getting healthy and start too vigorously. That can lead to injury or be so exhausting that the senior just gives up. It’s better to start with a small amount of low-intensity exercise and build up to more.
Don’t Ignore Warm Up and Cool Down
It’s important to warm up muscles and connective tissues before exercising to prevent injury. For an easy warm up, try walking slowly and doing some stretches for about 5 minutes. After exercising, stretch for 5 minutes. When the weather is warm, the senior should cool down a little longer.
Pick the Right Clothes and Shoes
Make sure the older adult has the right clothing for the kind of exercise they are planning to do. Make sure their shoes fit well and support their feet. Also, make sure the shoes are made for the kind of activity they are planning to do. For example, if they are going to walk, make sure they purchase a good pair of sneakers designed for walking.
Choose the Right Exercise
Seniors should pick a kind of exercise they think they will enjoy and that fits their physical abilities. Some kinds of exercise that are popular with older adults are swimming, yoga, and walking. Many fitness facilities offer classes designed for senior citizens. These are an excellent option as they are tailored for the abilities of older adults and also offer seniors a chance to socialize with other people their age.
Home care can help your aging relative to start exercising safely. Home care providers can drive them to the exercise facility. Home care providers can also keep an eye on the older adult if they plan to exercise at home, giving them a sense of confidence because they know someone is there to help if they are injured. A home care provider can also simply go for walks with your family member, giving them a companion to talk to and someone to lean on if needed.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOMECARE IN RALEIGH, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.
Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).