When seniors lead sedentary lifestyles, they increase the risk of becoming overweight and developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions. However, it’s never too late to start becoming more active. The following guidelines can help older adults along the journey.
1. Consult a PhysicianOlder adults with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or other medical conditions should consult with their physicians before starting new physical fitness regimens. Some seniors may need medication alterations based on their specific medical conditions. If you’re concerned about your loved one’s ability to exercise safely, consider hiring an at-home caregiver to provide assistance. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea senior care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
2. Get StartedSeniors can become more physically fit by choosing activities that are pleasurable. It’s important to start slowly and remember that every minute counts. Just 10 minutes of activity performed at different times each day can make a difference. Older adults might want to consider inviting friends or family members to join their activities. The combination of exercise and socialization provides twice the benefits.
3. Respect Body CuesCertain physical impairments, disorders, and medical conditions may make physical activity difficult, especially at first. Seniors must not push their bodies beyond safe limits, and when feeling fatigued or overheated, they should take breaks. Breathing difficulty may indicate respiratory or cardiac issues, so seniors who experience this symptom should stop and try again in the next day or two and bring water or juice along to stay hydrated. If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, a professional caregiver can take over for you. Galt Ocean Mile respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
4. Allow Recovery TimeAn older body is more likely to experience injury if it’s pushed to the limit. Moderate or strenuous exercise commonly creates microscopic tears in soft tissue. Older adults’ bodies need more time to repair themselves. Seniors should take a day or two between exercise routines to give their bodies time to make necessary repairs.
5. Set GoalsSeniors are advised to get a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderately strenuous physical activity each week. However, when beginning activity regimens, older adults need to engage in activities that are beneficial without being overly ambitious. As a senior’s fitness level increases, exercise may become more intense. It’s best to start with a light activity and strive to accomplish 150 minutes weekly before moving to the next level. Light activities include:
- Walking around the house
- Taking leisurely outdoor walks
- Cleaning the house
- Walking briskly
- Playing doubles tennis
- Mowing the lawn
- Doing water aerobics
- Performing aerobic exercise
- Hiking uphill
- Doing martial arts
- Playing football
- Playing singles tennis