Physical activity is beneficial for one’s health and wellbeing at any stage of life, including those aged 65+. Aging-in-place seniors that stay active by exercising regularly typically enjoy a higher quality of life than those who don’t. If you’re currently looking after an elderly loved one, finding ways to keep them motivated and moving isn’t always easy. What follows are a half-dozen senior-friendly activities that you and your loved one can easily enjoy together.
How Staying Active Benefits Seniors
As the average person ages, they start to slow down. But spending 10 hours or more in a sedentary position isn’t healthy for anyone, especially an older adult.
On the other hand, staying physically fit through regular exercise provides seniors with these health benefits:
- Helps maintain a healthy body weight
- Sharpens mental acuity and slows age-related cognitive decline
- Builds natural immunity
- Improves sleep
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Boosts cardiovascular endurance
Engaging in physical activity oftentimes means socializing with others, which is another positive when it comes to a senior’s mental health and wellbeing!
Healthy Activities for Aging Adults
If your aging loved one is spending too much time on the couch, put the bounce back in their step by encouraging them to participate in these fun, healthy activities:
Take a walk
Not only will taking a walk outside expose your loved one to fresh air and Vitamin D from the sun but the mild exercise has a number of benefits. It helps reduce stress, improve joint health, and boost cardio endurance- all of which are positives for aging-in-place seniors.
As a more moderate form of exercise, most older adults can still dance. Organize a dance party with family and friends at your loved one’s home or take them dancing at a local club that plays age-appropriate music. If your senior is unable to leave the house, pull out some of their favorite vinyl records and dance the night away as they fondly reminisce about the “old days”.
Even if your loved one has limited mobility, they can still stay active by doing seated exercises. Low-level exercises like raising one’s legs or lifting cans of food will help maintain muscle tone. There are even meditative chair Yoga postures that offer both physical and mental benefits by alleviating anxiety, stress, and depression.
Planting a garden is another great way to spend quality time outdoors while soaking up the sun’s healthy rays. Gardening activities help improve flexibility, burn calories, and strengthen muscles. All of these benefits are also beneficial to a senior’s sense of self-worth. And once the fresh fruits, herbs, and veggies are ready to eat, use them to prepare nutritious meals as you try out new recipes together.
Another form of mild-to-moderate exercise is keeping up with household chores, like dusting, cooking, and vacuuming. Convincing your senior to join in will help reinforce their sense of independence even if you or someone else are providing them with some in-home care.
Sometimes, aging adults get discouraged from doing the things they once loved, including hobbies. Find ways to adapt those activities to your loved one’s current lifestyle, for example bringing gardening indoors. If they love music but can no longer play instruments due to arthritis, encourage them to give music lessons instead. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, speak to an occupational therapist about how to customize hobbies based on their needs.
We Love Helping Seniors Stay Active and Socially Engaged!
Encouraging an aging loved to stay active and socially engaged isn’t easy when you are busy or live far away. As a locally owned and family-operated provider, Colonial Home Care Services makes it simple for families to keep their aging loved ones safe and comfortable- even with little notice in an emergency. At Colonial Home Care Services, we take great pride in carefully selecting and thoroughly screening our caregivers. As a result, we ensure they all have the right skills, knowledge, experience, and personality.
As a family-trusted home care provider serving Orange County, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, and surrounding communities, Colonial Home Care Services has been providing peace of mind to those we serve for over 25 years. To learn more now about our award-winning home care services, or to schedule a FREE in-home assessment for a senior in our service area today, please visit us at www.colonialhomecareservices.com.