Exercise is an important part of life at any age for maintaining better health. But for seniors in particular it can be beneficial for warding off illness and injury, promoting better mental health, enhancing balance and flexibility, and supporting independence. Lack of mobility or poor mobility can often be factors that keep seniors from continuing to live on their own. But with regular exercise, they can continue to carry out a variety of activities and be more independent.
With more seniors determined to age in place and stay healthy and active, they have remained committed to exercise. Even if your aging parent hasn’t been especially active, it’s not too late to start. Incorporating more exercise into their daily routine can leave them feeling stronger, healthier, and more confident.
There are three main types of exercise that seniors can benefit from: (Take a look at our Pinterest Board to get even more ideas)
Aerobic exercise promotes better heart and lung health. This includes activities such as biking, jogging, power walking, or swimming. It gets the heart pumping and all different muscle groups moving while also building endurance.
Strength training helps build and tone muscle so seniors can keep pace with daily activities with more ease. They may use light weights or resistance bands for arms and legs. Muscle control is important for everything from putting away groceries to changing from sitting to standing and back again. Practice standing from a sitting position frequently to keep your leg and hip muscles strong.
Flexibility and balance can help prevent falls and support activities such as dressing or grooming oneself. Activities such as yoga and tai chi can be very beneficial, as well as simple stretches and practicing standing on one leg.
Finding Appropriate Exercise Programs for Seniors
Many local gyms and recreational centers offer specific exercise or fitness classes for seniors. One that is very popular is called SilverSneakers. This program is designed for adults age 65 and older, and many are eligible for free membership through Medicare Advantage plans. Classes range from simple, low-impact workouts to more rigorous high intensity classes for those who are very active. Whether your senior enjoys water aerobics, dancing, walking, yoga, or something else, there is most likely a class to fit their interest, needs, and ability level.
SilverSneakers offers seniors a chance to work out with other older adults under the guidance of a certified trainer, make friends, have fun, and stay in shape. They can work on balance, flexibility, endurance, strength, and many other aspects of their health. They no longer have to feel limited by the activities they can do because various classes give them much more opportunity to explore new things. Some classes can even be adapted for those who need to sit.
Greater Plymouth Community Center offers SilverSneakersSplash, an aquatic exercise program. The Ambler YMCA also provides Senior exercise options. Philadelphia Corporation for Aging hosts senior exercise classes. Check their website for a schedule.
With regular exercise and support from an in-home care provider, seniors can age in place more safely, comfortably, and confidently. In-home care services can be adjusted to provide just the right level of support your senior needs allowing them to remain as independent as possible.
To learn more about getting your senior the right level of support they need to age in place and remain more independent, contact Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059. We offer FREE consultations to help you get started.