January 14, 2020

How Seniors Can Overcome Barriers to Exercise

We are now a few weeks into the New Year, and already may have come up against obstacles to keeping our health & wellness resolutions. Too many elderly adults feel that their physical limitations due to age-related health conditions are a barrier to getting regular exercise. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Even seniors in wheelchairs or with significant physical challenges can reap the benefits of a regular exercise plan. Family caregivers can play a significant role in helping their aging
Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
At any age, exercise is a boost for a person’s health and wellness. Not only does exercise help with elderly adults physical health, but it is a significant factor in mental health as well. With exercise, seniors gain stronger muscles, better circulation, improved balance, and weight loss. It also helps with deeper sleep and improved appetite. Mentally, seniors feel more alert and can manage chronic pain better. Another plus is that the endorphins released during exercise can even reduce the risk of depression.
Common Barriers to Exercise in Elderly Adults
Seniors with serious health issues, chronic illnesses, and age-related condition often rely on family caregivers and home care providers for help with daily tasks. This can include dressing, grooming, housekeeping, and meal preparation. They will also need help with doing basic exercises because they cannot safely do them on their own. Some seniors worry about falling or getting injured, while others are simply not motivated enough to do any kind of exercise. No matter what the obstacle, seniors should try to do some type of regular activity.
Ideas for Exercise in Elderly Adults
Family caregivers and home care providers must help seniors find activities they enjoy doing. There are a range of exercise regimens that are a good fit for seniors, no matter what their mobility. Ideas include walking, swimming, water aerobics, tai chi, yoga, chair aerobics, weight training, swimming, and stretching. Most seniors will need the help of family caregivers or home care providers to do this successfully and safely.
Implement Incentives to Boost Motivation
Family caregivers and home care providers can work with the elderly adult to set fitness goals and a plan to achieve them. It’s a good idea to start low and slow, then build up as the elderly adult gains confidence and strength. Seniors will grow more motivated with the support and encouragement from family caregivers and home care providers, plus the positive results from exercising. Achieving exercise milestones should be celebrated and perhaps lead to a fun reward, like an outing or special treat.

It’s important to an elderly person’s health and wellness to fit some exercise into their daily and weekly schedule. Not only will their health improve overall, but they’ll have positive interactions with family members and home care providers. When it comes to setting and achieving exercise goals, elderly adults have nothing to lose but poor health.

Learn more about how Nightingale Private Care can support your home care needs or call us today for a free complimentary nursing assessment. Call (772) 245-8390.