Physical Activity and Exercises for Seniors: Tips from In-Home Caregivers

Get insights into how the dedicated support at Amazing Home Care can help seniors stay active and motivated in their golden years.

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an older couple does yoga in a peaceful greenhouse – Amazing Home Care

As the body ages, physical activity becomes more important to keep it healthy. Staying active can be difficult for older individuals, but having help from an in-home caregiver can make it easier to ensure daily exercise.

At Amazing Home Care, we prioritize customizing our care plans to each person we assist. One of our goals is ensuring safe exercises for seniors that fit each person’s abilities and needs. Having someone available to help motivate and facilitate physical activity can be one of the best ways to ensure the senior years stay active.

The Significance of Exercises for Seniors

As the human body ages, it starts to suffer from wear and tear. Issues with joints and muscles become more prominent, and it is easier to suffer an injury.

Exercises for seniors are the key to feeling youthful for longer. Through staying active, individuals can keep the signs of aging subdued.

Exercise helps immensely with preventing various health conditions. It can stop the development of certain diseases, including diabetes, coronary heart disease, and some cancers. It assists with overall bone and joint health, while also boosting immunity.

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the major factors in loss of mobility in the elderly. Remaining physically active allows a person to stay mobile for longer. It also will help increase stability, which reduces the risk of debilitating falls.

By being more mobile and healthier, older adults can maintain their independence for longer. They won’t need as much help and are able to continue caring for themselves without needing intensive assistance.

Exercise is also a mental boost. It can help reduce depression and stress. It stimulates the brain and helps seniors to avoid cognitive decline.

Physical fitness has a significant impact on the quality of life. The positive influence it has in various aspects of daily living and longevity makes it one of the best things a person can do as they get older.

5 Safe and Effective Exercises Recommended by In-Home Caregivers

When it comes to exercises for seniors, some activity is always better than none at all. In-home caregivers at Amazing Home Care ensure that the routines they plan meet the individual’s physical needs and restrictions.

Ideally, a good routine will include about 30 minutes of exercise each day, with at least two days incorporating some strength training. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also suggests including balance activities.

There are quite a few options in safe and effective exercises for seniors, but here is a look at five of the top ones.

1. Walking

One of the most popular exercises for seniors is walking. It is natural, easy, and simple. There is no special equipment needed, and it is something a person can do almost anywhere.

Walking helps to get the blood pumping and is a great activity to boost cardiovascular health.

Walking is also easy to tailor to the needs of the individual. Caregivers can provide support to ensure the activity is as safe as possible, such as choosing proper walking routes that are safe or offering literal physical support to help a person complete a walk.

2. Stretching and Flexibility Exercises

Stretching and flexibility should be a part of any senior exercise routine. Maintaining flexibility is helpful for fall prevention and overall mobility. It can also help with pain and injury prevention.

Such exercises are fairly simple to do in a home setting. A caregiver can easily put together a routine that aligns with an individual’s abilities and only takes minutes to complete.

3. Strength Training

Strength training isn’t about building huge muscles. Everyone can benefit from it.

Working the muscles helps prevent muscle loss, which can in turn impact bones. Strong muscles provide protection to the bones and reduce the chances of fractures. Building the muscles also increases bone density that can help reduce the risk of age-related issues, such as osteoporosis.

Strength exercises for seniors do not have to involve heavy weights. Light weights or resistance bands can provide an excellent workout that is safe and customizable.

4. Balance Exercises

Balance exercises help to strengthen muscles needed to prevent the loss of balance. They can be more complex, such as Tai Chi, or simple, such as stand-and-sit exercises.

These activities build muscle memory. In a situation that throws a person off-balance, the skills learned from balance exercises make it easier to regain balance and avoid a fall.

5. Chair Exercises

Exercise is for everyone, even those with mobility issues. Chair exercises, which are those performed while seated, are a great choice. Examples include:

  • Neck stretches
  • Dumbbell curls
  • Overhead press
  • Heel slides
  • Seated jacks
  • Leg raises

It is possible to work out the whole body with chair exercises for seniors. This includes properly working the cardiovascular system and doing flexibility routines.

Customizing Exercise Plans
a graying man stretches in preparation for a run – Amazing Home Care

Customizing a senior exercise plan is an important aspect to ensuring it is successful. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work well because it doesn’t take into consideration individual needs and limitations.

By creating a plan that takes into account the senior’s health status and physical capabilities, a caregiver can best help that person to be as active as possible. They can provide a workout routine that is comfortable and safe.

Part of planning a customized exercise regime is consulting with healthcare providers. Knowing limitations or recommendations from doctors and other professionals can ensure the finalized plan is suitable for the individual.

Armed with the recommendations from healthcare providers, a caregiver can best assess what types of exercises for seniors to include in the plan and ensure it is challenging without being too difficult. There are four main types that a person should be doing regularly. These include:

  • Endurance or aerobic exercises that work the heart and lungs
  • Strength moves to improve muscle mass and aid with bone density
  • Balance activities for fall prevention
  • Flexibility for joint health and mobility

A caregiver can help to ensure the workouts start slowly and work up in intensity and time to allow the body to adjust. Having a partner in the process can make it easier to stick with the routine and make it a regular part of daily activities.

Role of Technology in Monitoring and Encouraging Exercise

Technology can help to enhance an exercise program. It can monitor breathing and heart rates and calories burnt. It can record the number of steps a person takes.

These digital records can be helpful in managing the amount of physical activity a person is getting. Devices can also help with setting goals and tracking progress. They may even offer suggestions for exercises for seniors.

A senior can wear a device, such as a watch, that will provide tracking information. In addition, a caregiver can use a tablet or smartphone to get the results from the senior’s device and stay on top of the exercise regimen. Everyone can work together to use the details from the devices to adjust the routine as needed.

Overcoming Challenges and Staying Motivated

Maintaining the motivation to continue a workout program is not an easy task. For seniors, there may be a few challenges that may cause them to want to quit.

If a senior is experiencing pain, the caregiver can adjust the exercises to prevent this and work with medical providers to figure out why it is happening. Overcoming any physical challenges can be simple by making accommodations. Trying new routines can also help to find what works for that person.

Caregivers can also adjust routines to keep them fresh and interesting. For example, if the person is finding the routine boring, the caregiver can find a local class that will allow the senior to get out of the house and be with others while getting exercise. A simple change of venue or adding a social element can often help beat boredom.

Another great way to keep motivated is setting goals. Having reachable goals keeps things exciting. Seniors can work towards them and celebrate when they reach them.

Get Help With Exercises for Seniors

Staying active with age should be a top priority for everyone. Physical fitness has many benefits for physical and mental health. Every senior should have an exercise plan in place.

Setting up exercises for seniors is a simple task for the caregivers at Amazing Home Care. We specialize in ensuring a personalized experience that works for each individual. Seniors can make good use of the resources and support provided by us to learn more about enhancing their physical activity safely.