Most seniors know they should exercise. However, knowledge isn’t always enough, and when seniors lack the motivation to take a yoga class or lift some light weights, it’s up to family caregivers to inspire them. Here are five ways you can help your senior loved one stay active.
1. Find a Senior Group Exercise Class
Exercise is especially crucial for seniors, as it helps them manage existing illnesses, prevent new ones, and boost mental and physical function. Not getting enough exercise isn’t exclusive to seniors. People of all age groups have lapsed gym memberships and failed New Year’s resolutions. If you want your loved one to stay active, sign him or her up for a senior group exercise class. Studies show people are more motivated to stay active when they are in a group setting. There are plenty of classes appropriate for seniors of all fitness levels, ranging from yoga to water aerobics. If you provide the right class and transportation, your loved one may be more likely to stick to a weekly exercise regimen.
If your elderly loved one wants to attend an exercise class and you are unable to accompany him or her, arrange for a professional caregiver to provide transportation. A Palm Desert caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns.
2. Ask Your Loved One’s Doctor to Prescribe an Exercise Regimen
Studies suggest advice from a medical professional is often an effective way to change a senior’s habits. Exercise-resistant seniors are less likely to ignore the words of their doctor. If you are worried about your loved one’s health, arrange a doctor’s visit and ask the doctor to prescribe a healthy exercise regimen.
3. Choose a Manageable Exercise Routine
Sticking to an exercise regimen can fill seniors with a sense of accomplishment, which can be a great motivational tool. To achieve this sense of fulfillment, seniors need to choose a manageable exercise regimen. If they overexert themselves, they’re less likely to sustain their new exercise habit. Provide manageable activities that leave your loved one feeling energized instead of exhausted. He or she can start with simple exercises like a walk in the park or 15 minutes of gentle weightlifting, then gradually increase the difficulty of the exercise regimen. By selecting manageable activities, you can help your loved one achieve sustained results.
Seniors with serious health conditions may need assistance with exercise and other daily tasks. Palm Desert non-medical home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
4. Appeal to Former Interests
Not every senior played basketball in high school or was a member of the college tennis team, but most seniors have old hobbies they haven’t indulged in lately. If your loved one is resistant to exercise, appeal to former interests to get him or her moving. Many hobbies have an active component. For seniors who used to love photography, encourage going on nature walks with a camera in hand. Seniors are more amenable to activities that affirm their sense of identity.
5. Encourage Persistence
The key to any good exercise regimen is persistence. Seniors won’t see results unless they stick to their goals and stay active every week. Use kind words, but also provide self-monitoring systems that allow your loved one to identify his or her own progress. Some seniors might enjoy tracking their activities on a wall calendar. Tech-savvy seniors might prefer to track their results on a phone app. Find a system that works for your loved one and encourages him or her to continue.
If your elderly loved one requires help maintaining a regular exercise routine, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Palm Desert, California, caregiver agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To hire a dedicated and professional caregiver for your senior loved one, call us at (760) 345-0001.