Exercise is a part of life. Whether it involves stretching, running, lifting weights, or playing sports, keeping active is important for people of any age. While those who are young or middle-aged may partake in more rigorous regimens, the elderly need exercise, too. Caregivers are in a great position to help seniors find the drive to start exercising but may need guidance on where to begin.
For caregivers wondering how to encourage the elderly to exercise, Liberty Resources Home Choices offers helpful insight to those in the Philadelphia Metro area and those around Allentown, PA, who want to help seniors stay active.
Ways to Encourage the Elderly to Exercise
Because even everyday tasks can be more strenuous for those 65 years and older, caregivers can struggle to find ways to keep them engaged in exercise. Exercise is particularly important for seniors because it not only helps keep their bodies active and healthy but also helps them get a greater sense of independence and can even boost their mood.
That’s why it’s worth it to think about the best ways to provide personal care that suits their needs. Here are some tips to try:
Start With Enjoyable Activities
Even those in the prime of life can get bored of exercise. For instance, many runners just can’t get excited about hopping on a treadmill but may love running outdoors. Caregivers are sure to have a close relationship with the seniors they care for, so it’s beneficial to look at their likes and dislikes and develop an exercise plan around that.
If they like dancing, play some music or help them learn new moves. If they’re a nature lover, take a walk outside or go bird watching. Even taking on more leisurely activities at a quicker pace can help get them moving.
Create a Routine
Many people struggle to stick with exercise when they don’t prioritize it. When working with seniors, it’s helpful to manage exercise when you can, rather than force it, which can be discouraging. Planning a daily workout early in the morning is often advantageous because people are likely to have more energy at this time.
You should also consider household chores that need to be done and try to coordinate exercise with them. Whether it’s walking a dog, bringing laundry up and down stairs, or pulling up weeds in the yard, these chores enable caregivers to integrate exercise into daily living.
Find a Friend
Workouts are always easier to get into when there is someone else by your side. Seniors have a harder time meeting up with close friends (especially those that need in-home care), so finding an exercise partner can make all the difference. Not only will they be more likely to stick to an exercise plan, but they’ll also have extra companionship and social activity to look forward to each day.
Track Their Progress
Much like any exercise enthusiast, seniors engaging in physical activity will benefit from monitoring how they have progressed. Not only does this allow you to create goals for them, helping to push them forward, but viewing their success allows a sense of self-accomplishment that can get them excited about further exercise.
Exercises to Consider
Seniors who can take on physical activity should try to work on balance, flexibility, strength, and endurance. When looking to create an exercise routine, it’s important to consider their medical conditions, disabilities, and potential complications due to medications. Fortunately, there is still a wide selection of options to get them moving regularly, including:
- Senior yoga
- Chair yoga for seniors
- Balance exercises for seniors
- Tai Chi
- Single leg stance with a stool
- Cycling/pedal exercises
Create an Effective Exercise Plan Today
Knowing how to encourage the elderly to exercise gives caregivers the tools needed to keep seniors healthy and enjoying life. If you are interested in using these tips to get seniors up and moving, consider becoming a member of the Liberty Resources Home Choices team in either Philadelphia, PA, or Allentown, PA.
Caregiver careers present ample opportunities to develop skills that enable you to serve seniors and those with disabilities or severe injuries. They are also highly rewarding as they enable you to truly make a difference in the lives of those who require additional assistance with daily life. Contact us today if you’re ready to join the team as a caregiver or want to learn more.