Exercise is important at any age. That is why at Mazal, your home healthcare agency in Miami, we include exercise in many of our wellness recommendations. However, it’s important for older adults to carefully consider the type of activities they can take part in safely. As we get older, our ability to engage in exercises can become more limited. Let’s look at the health and safety considerations for seniors looking to improve their physical fitness.
The Benefits of Physical Exercise
We often encourage physical exercise as part of an integrated approach to health and wellness because of its benefits. For seniors, this includes,
- Delaying or preventing the onset of some disabilities and diseases including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Increased sense of wellbeing
- Promoting better and more restful sleep
- Reducing pain from arthritis
- Reducing the risk of falls
Encouraging Physical Activity
While physical activity is important to your senior loved one’s health, they may be resistant to beginning a new exercise routine. Fortunately, your loved one doesn’t have to do yoga or take long walks to be healthy (though those can be beneficial). When you encourage your loved one to engage in physical activity, consider their interests as well as their current health. By focusing on their interests and current abilities, you can help them ease into a healthy and maintainable routine.
Types of Activities Most Beneficial to Seniors
The type of activity is important to promote good physical health and well-being. While your loved one’s needs and physical ability will vary, the most important and beneficial types of activities for seniors include,
- Endurance activities that increase heart rate and breathing (examples include walking, jogging, and dancing)
- Strength exercises that help build up muscle and reduce age-based muscle loss
- Stretching exercises that help keep the body flexible and improve mobility
- Balance exercises that help seniors maintain or regain their natural balance
Because your loved one has unique needs, it is important to talk to their healthcare provider before beginning exercise routines. Some pre-existing health conditions may limit the types of activities they can do. They may also limit how intense exercises should be or how long they should last.
Staying Safe while Exercising
Once your loved one is committed to beginning a new exercise regimen, it’s important to approach activities with safety in mind. As your loved one begins their new activities remember,
- Ease into new activities, including new exercises they add later
- Wear safety gear when needed such as helmets for bike riding or water shoes for swimming
- Wear sun protection when outdoors
- Stay hydrated and increase fluid intake during exercise unless otherwise directed by their physician
- Use steady breathing when exercising
- Remember general exercise safety guidelines like keeping their back straight and bending from the hip
- Use balance aids when needed to help prevent falls during exercise
Are You Looking for a Home Health Care Agency in Miami?
Mazal Nursing Services offers expert caregivers in Miami who provide top-notch home care and post-surgery recovery nurse care in Miami. Contact us to set up an appointment and discuss your loved one’s needs.