Along with following a healthy diet, seniors need to engage in physical activities or exercise regimens on a regular basis to ensure optimal health. Regardless of mobility, there are many activities older adults can participate in to maintain or enhance their physical fitness. Several options are easily adapted to suit an individual’s capabilities.
This low-impact sport is ideal for seniors who need to protect weight-bearing joints from undue stress. Riding a traditional bike or an indoor stationary version serves as an excellent means of getting an aerobic workout. By boosting their cardiovascular health, older adults also protect their cognitive health by ensuring neurons receive oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flow to the brain. Cycling also strengthens the musculoskeletal system. Seniors can enjoy the activity outdoors and boost their vitamin D levels by getting sun exposure. Riding a stationary bike indoors offers the same aerobic benefits, but the risk of falling or becoming involved in an accident is greatly reduced.
Seniors with health conditions or mobility issues can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. El Dorado County home care service professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
2. Strength Training
After the age of 35, adults gradually lose up to one-third of their muscle mass if they don’t regularly work to maintain fitness levels. Strength training replaces the loss. Additionally, according to Harvard researchers, strength training is a good way to eliminate abdominal fat, which many believe increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are a variety of exercises that require nothing more than a senior’s own body weight to provide the resistance needed to strengthen muscles. Climbing stairs and doing modified push-ups and squats are prime examples. Older adults might want to consider obtaining inexpensive wrist and ankle weights to wear while walking or performing simple exercises.
Swimming is another highly recommended low-impact activity. Moving against the water provides sufficient resistance to increase physical strength and muscle mass. Swimming or participating in a water aerobics class also provides a cardiovascular workout. The warmth of the water increases flexibility, and standing and moving through the water enhances balance. Thus, the activity is a comprehensive means of increasing overall cognitive and physical health.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. El Dorado County respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
4. Doing Tai Chi
Falls remain a major risk for older adults. These accidents typically occur secondary to being physically weak and experiencing a loss of balance. The ancient art of tai chi relies on focused breathing and various fluid physical movements to increase muscle strength and balance.
Walking is a wonderful way for sedentary seniors to become more physically active. Older adults can start slowly and gradually increase the length and speed of the walk as they gain endurance and strength. Those who engage in other forms of physical fitness can also walk to vary their daily routines. For seniors who rely solely on walking for fitness, trainers recommended using a pedometer and striving to take 10,000 steps per day.
Seniors who need assistance with exercising safely can benefit from the help of a trained in-home caregiver. El Dorado County senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (916) 358-3801 today.