One of the best things that seniors can do to improve their health is to exercise. But, when seniors have been sedentary for a long time or have injuries, medical problems, or other issues that make exercise difficult it can be tough to get started. Starting a new exercise regimen is something that seniors should do. They should do so only after they’ve talked with their doctor to make sure they can safely start to exercise.
Once your senior parent’s doctor says it’s okay for them to exercise the real work begins. Seniors who have not exercised for a long time need to start slow and make sure they follow basic safety tips. Injuries that happen early on in a new fitness journey can make it impossible for seniors to continue exercising. Some things that seniors can do to start exercising safely after a period of not exercising are:
Get In-Home Care
In-home care provides a range of benefits to seniors, including helping seniors exercise safely. An in-home care provider can encourage your senior parent to exercise daily, move more throughout the day, and do stretches to help improve their flexibility.
Start With Basic Movement
If your senior parent isn’t used to movement, they should start by doing basic movement exercises. Stretches, flexibility exercises, and exercises that will help their balance will give seniors who aren’t in great physical shape the tools they need to be more active. Once your senior parent is moving more freely, has improved balance, and can handle more movement they can move on to other types of exercise.
Choose Low-impact Exercise
Seniors who are used to being sedentary should incorporate low-impact basic exercise like walking into their daily routines to be more active. Choosing low-impact exercise like walking, cycling, or swimming is the safest way for seniors to start moving more. The more seniors move the more they will be able to safely handle activities. So, by starting with very basic low-impact movements seniors can slowly start to add other activities to their exercise regimen.
Consistency is the key to better fitness. Seniors need to commit to getting some activity or exercise every day. Then follow through on that to start getting healthier. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to help improve a senior’s health. Going for a walk around the block once a day is a great start, as long as your senior parent does that walk daily. Doing 15 minutes of stretching or yoga daily can lead to seniors being able to start walking or cycling again in a very short period. Any amount of movement done consistently will improve your senior parent’s health.
It’s not recommended that seniors jump into a strenuous exercise program. Seniors who try to do too much right off the bat can end up becoming burned out or injured. Just adding five or ten minutes of movement per day can lead to real improvements in your senior parent’s health.