Most adults know the value of regular exercise for staying fit and healthy, but many don’t think about their elderly relatives when it comes to physical activity. In fact, most health experts agree that seniors of all ages can benefit from regular exercise, as long as it is tailored to their abilities and health conditions. Family caregivers can work with a doctor to get a good idea of what they can do to help their elderly loved ones start exercising.
With a doctor’s advice, aging adults can start exercising right in their homes. Family caregivers and elderly care providers can help seniors make a workout plan and be there to help out as needed. Many seniors may be skeptical about what exercise can really do for them, especially if they are dealing with several health issues already.
Studies show that the benefits of exercise are numerous, even for seniors with common age-related illnesses and conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease. With support from family caregivers and elderly care providers, aging adults can stay safe and comfortable while getting healthy and fit.
Regardless of their age and stage of life, elderly adults respond quite positively to regular exercise. Here are some of the benefits that exercise provides for elderly adults:
- Controls weight
- Strengthens muscles
- Benefits cardiovascular health
- Improves endurance and stamina
- Enhances flexibility
- Increases bone health and strength
- Boosts mood and reduces the risk of depression
- Reduces the risk of dementia
- Lowers blood pressure
- Raises energy levels
- Releases endorphins to help with pain management
- Promotes better circulation and digestion
- Leads to deeper and more restful sleep
- Triggers more appetite
When it comes to seniors and the health benefits from exercise, it’s easy to see why so many doctors recommend incorporating as much as they can. Many seniors choose age-appropriate exercise such as yoga, tai chi, chair aerobics or other programs designed specifically for aging adults. Other types of activity include walking, swimming, water aerobics and stationery biking. Seniors can also participate in strength training exercises by working out a routine that includes leg lifts, arm raises and light weights. These can even be done by those in a wheelchair or in bed.
When seniors are afflicted by health issues that require them to have help with daily tasks like cooking and cleaning, they aren’t in a position to start exercising all on their own. They really need help from family caregivers and elderly care providers to not only help them with the exercise of their choice, but to be by their side during the workout. It’s definitely worth it to help an aging adult participated in regular exercise, because it gives them an opportunity to be as healthy as they can and feel good about themselves.