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The Ins and Outs of Senior Exercise

A senior smiles as he swims for his daily senior exercise.
Get a partner to help you stay on a consistent senior exercise routine!

What resolution are you committing to for the new year? How about setting a goal that can help both you and someone you love live healthier and feel happier?

A steady workout routine is important, but it’s not always easy to start or maintain. One great way to stay motivated is to find an accountability partner and encourage one another. If you are providing care for an older loved one, you have the perfect opportunity to help each other become more physically fit! But it’s important to first know how much and what forms of senior exercise are best.

What Is the Right Amount of Exercise for Older Adults?

Every person’s body is different, so always consult a doctor before establishing a workout routine. Whatever an individual’s ability level, appropriate exercise is important. It improves muscle mass, bone density, heart and lung functioning, and much more, including boosting mood and emotional wellbeing.

There are general recommendations for older adults, but the best part is that even a small amount of physical activity can make a big difference. As little as 15 – 20 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (swimming, running, playing tennis or basketball) has been shown to reduce mortality rate by 16 – 40%.

What Are Some Good Exercises for Older Adults?

Some of the best aerobic exercises to consider, which can easily be modified when necessary according to ability level, include:

  • Dancing, which helps strengthen multiple muscle groups while improving balance and mood – and, if dancing with a partner, socialization too.
  • Cycling, either on an outdoor or stationary bike: a fantastic low impact activity that benefits the heart, lungs, and large muscles.
  • Walking, particularly in nature, to experience diverse terrains as well as the psychological effects that can come from spending time outdoors, including a boost in mood, lowered stress and anxiety, and much more.

How to Get Started

The hardest part of senior exercise is often just getting started. Here are some tips to help you both succeed:

  • Start slowly and set attainable goals. Then celebrate reaching them!
  • Be sure to warm up and cool down.
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Choose activities that are fun. With so many options, there’s absolutely no reason to settle for a boring, tedious routine.
  • If any pain or discomfort is experienced, stop.

Let Us Help!

A caregiver from Home Sweet Home In-Home Care makes an excellent exercise buddy to help older adults remain on track with a new or existing physical fitness program. We are here to provide transportation to the gym, pool, senior center, or wherever else the individual wants to go. We also make great walking partners! Call us at (866) 229-2505 for more information about our senior care services in Kalamazoo, Portage, and Battle Creek, as well as the surrounding areas.

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