Family caregivers want to provide their aging relative with every opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle. They focus on nutritious meals, encourage them to stop smoking and arrange for elderly care providers to help with bathing, dressing and grooming. However, many family caregivers overlook regular exercise for their elderly loved ones, mistakenly believing that seniors with physical limitations either don’t need exercise or cannot participate in it.
The truth is there are lots of ways that family caregivers and elderly care providers can help aging adults get regular exercise that is age-appropriate and in line with their abilities.
Types of Exercises for Dependent Seniors
Most health experts agree that regular exercise is important for adults to stay fit and healthy. This even includes elderly adults. As long as a doctor gives their permission on the type of activity that is safe for the senior, they can participate. Of course, seniors cannot do many of the traditional types of exercise that are too vigorous or high-stress for their abilities. Instead, seniors should focus on low impact physical activity where they stay safe but active.
Among the most common types of exercises for seniors are walking, swimming, water aerobics, strength training, yoga and tai chi. Seniors can also exercise via a stationary bike, treadmill or recumbent bike. There are even special exercise and strength training routines for aging adults who are in a wheelchair or bedridden. With the help of family caregivers and elderly care providers, seniors can achieve any level of exercise they are physically capable of.
Benefits of Exercise in Elderly Adults
Studies show that regular exercise brings all kinds of benefits to seniors that they should not ignore.
Exercise has the ability to boost health and wellness and make improvements on the body. Not only does physical activity bring about changes physically, but exercise is linked to better mental health as well.
Here are just a few of the benefits that seniors can see in themselves when they start exercising:
- Lower blood pressure
- Better blood sugar levels
- Improved bone and joint health
- Strengthens muscles
- Weight control
- Stronger immune system
- Improved balance
- More energy and focus
- Lowers the risk of heart disease and lung disease
- Increased respiratory functions
- Better digestion and circulation overall
- Reduce the risk of developing diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s disease
Most seniors are dealing with one or more chronic health conditions, and exercise won’t make those health issues disappear. However, the healthier the body is, the more likely it is that the elderly adult will be better able to deal with the effects of their health issues and reduce the risk of developing new ones. When it comes to exercise, seniors are never too old to do something about it.