Physical activity is important for people of all ages, but especially for senior citizens. Staying physically active can help seniors stay both physically and mentally healthy. And seeing as how only one in three adults get the recommended amount of physical activity every week, it’s important for those with aging parents to ensure they’re staying active. So let’s explore a few tips to help the seniors in your life stay physically fit as they age.
One of the easiest ways to keep seniors active is to do more activities outside together. This can be something as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood every morning or even going for a brief bike ride. While it’s true that 58 million people go to a gym every year, you don’t necessarily need a gym to get exercise. Getting outside even for just a few minutes can do wonders — not only can you get some physical activity, but fresh air is always great, especially if the majority of the day is spent inside. So take advantage of the warm, spring weather and make sure the whole family is spending plenty of time outside. Just make sure everyone is dressed appropriately and keeps clean — 50% of all instances of the common cold happen during autumn and spring.
Choosing which activities are appropriate for seniors can be difficult because their physical abilities may vary. This is why it’s a good idea to start with some low-level physical activities. Starting with something like walking can be beneficial and other activities can be added in as they feel comfortable with them. Other physical activities that may be good for seniors include gold, dance, yoga, and even water aerobics. It’s important to consider which kind of activities the seniors in your life are interested in — if they find the activity fun, they’re more likely to continue participating in it. So whether it’s a daily walk or attending dance classes, make sure you’re choosing appropriate activities for both their skill level and their interests.
Another great way to get seniors physically and socially active is by finding senior citizen programs in the area. Most towns have at least one or two programs specifically for seniors, which can be a great opportunity for socialization. These programs often offer exercise classes and programs tailored to elderly adults. This can be perfect because the seniors in your life will be able to meet people with the same interests and get physically active at the same time. If your parents are part of the 51% of care recipients who live in their own home, you may consider asking their caregiver to take them to these programs weekly.
It isn’t always easy to help seniors stay active, especially if they don’t feel motivated to do so. But with these tips, you should be able to help the older adults in your life stay physically active and feeling their best.