Everyone wants to have fun – including seniors. As they age, many seniors become much less active and don’t spend time enjoying their favorite activities as much as they did in the past. Ultimately, this results in a loss of strength, agility, and flexibility.
Staying active isn’t going to slow down the aging process, but it can slow down the effects. The benefits of exercise and staying physically active include:
- Increased lean body mass and physical performance
- Maintaining quality of life and reducing falls
- Preventing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease
- Improved mental health
- Improved cognitive functioning
What can you do to help the senior in your life get, and remain, active? Here are five great ways they can enjoy themselves and benefit from staying active.
1. Take a Dance Class
Many seniors enjoy dancing. It takes them back to their younger years when they danced the night away to their favorite bands while twirling with someone they enjoyed being with.
Dancing is great for strengthening the whole body. Both the upper and lower body are worked, as well as the core. This helps improve stability and balance, two things that naturally decline for seniors. Slowing the decline of flexibility is another great benefit of dancing.
You can find dance classes specifically designed for seniors, which encourage motion without being overly stressful on their joints and muscles.
2. Get a Pet
One of the best ways for seniors to remain active is walking. Walking a dog motivates seniors to get out in the fresh air and walk, and walking is more enjoyable when shared with a four-legged friend.
People that have pets walk more frequently, they walk longer, and they do it on a regular schedule. Walking helps keep the joints moving, even for people with arthritis or other conditions preventing them from engaging in more strenuous physical activity.
3. Learn a Few Yoga Poses
People that enjoy yoga will tell you that it may look easy, but it gives you quite a workout. There are classes designed specifically for seniors that only teach poses that are deemed to be safe. Yoga improves balance and stability, enhances strength and flexibility, and calms the mind.
Many community senior centers offer yoga classes as part of their recreational programs.
4. Build Some Muscle
Losing strength is one of the side effects of aging. Seniors can reduce the impact of strength loss by building muscle, and it can be done at home for a low cost and with very little equipment. Just a pair of one and two-pound weights or even lightweight items around the house like a bag of sugar are all that’s needed to get started.
Even seniors who cannot get up, walk or stand can work on their arm muscles while staying seated. Ankle weights can help work their leg muscles, helping them stand, walk, and carry objects more easily.
5. Go For a Swim
Swimming is a fun way to improve heart health, even for seniors with limited mobility because of joint problems. It works the entire body gently and increases the heart rate, which can help prevent heart problems while working the muscles for improved tone and strength.
Seniors that aren’t good swimmers can still benefit from getting in the water by enjoying activities like water aerobics. The water adds resistance for a more challenging workout without putting excessive pressure on the joints.
Encourage the senior in your life to take the plunge and have fun staying active. They’ll laugh more, feel better, and appreciate life more.
Keeping Seniors in Pasadena Active for Over 10 Years
At New Wave Home Care, our caregivers can help the senior in your life stay active at home. They are highly trained, compassionate, and committed to delivering exceptional care.
We provide a number of services such as respite care, personal care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, medication reminders, transitional care, and more!