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Should Older Adults Exercise Often?

By , 9:00 am on

Healthcare providers and senior citizen organizations recommend that seniors engage in regular physical activity to maintain their emotional, physical, and mental health. However, older adults might not realize how much activity they should get each week. Here are a few guidelines that can help seniors get on the right track toward fitness.

Frequency

Seniors should strive to get a little exercise each day and gauge the level of intensity according to their particular fitness level. They should start slow and gradually increase the intensity until at least achieving the ability to engage in a moderate level of intensity. Something simple like walking each day is a simple way to get in some exercise, or perhaps riding a stationary bike indoors during commercials while watching TV. An alternative method of exercising would be performing a few aerobic activities during commercials. These routines might include marching, running in place, or stretching.

Older adults who exercise or perform daily tasks tend to remain fit. However, many seniors need help engaging in physical activities so they can achieve a balanced lifestyle. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Edmonton home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Duration

Exercise recommendations for older adults are generally 150 minutes of strenuous activity every week. Seniors can start by engaging in 10-minute sessions two or three times a day, then gradually building up to 30-minute sessions. Working out five days a week allows for two days to rest and allow the body to recover and perform necessary repairs.

Additional Recommendations

A weekly exercise regimen should include two or more days of stretching. Seniors should choose exercises that stretch all the major muscle groups. Stretching for a few minutes before more strenuous workouts also warms and readies the muscles. Two days each week, seniors should also include some type of strength training activity. They should concentrate on working the abdomen, chest, arms, shoulders, back, hips, and legs. Older adults who are capable of participating in strenuous physical activities can limit their weekly time to 75 minutes if desired. Examples of strenuous exercise include cycling, playing tennis, or running. The weekly minutes might also involve a combination of moderate and strenuous activities. For instance, walking can be combined with jogging, cycling, or another active exercise.

For seniors, strenuous physical activities should be managed according to their fitness level. Professional caregivers can assist with the daily exercise aging adults need. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Edmonton Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Types of Exercise

The types of exercise older adults choose must get the blood pumping to enhance cardiovascular performance. These kinds of activities also build endurance. Moderate exercises should vary from day to day to ensure all major muscle groups receive a workout.

Ideal forms of moderately strenuous activities include:

• Brisk walking 
• Dancing 
• Cycling 
• Hiking 
• Jogging 
• Mowing the lawn 
• Raking leaves 
• Shoveling snow 
• Swimming

Strength training exercises might involve: 

• Weightlifting 
• Resistance band workouts 
• Any type of physical labor

Benefits of Exercise

Along with enhancing endurance and strength, exercising on a regular basis increases overall balance and flexibility, which are necessary to reduce the risk of falling. Falls remain a major concern among the elderly. By boosting cardiovascular health through exercise, older adults also shorten the time needed to recover from injury or illness. Exercising also prevents diabetes, osteoporosis, and various types of cancer. Engaging in regular physical activities enables older adults to maintain a healthier weight while boosting emotional and cognitive health.

Exercising regularly is a great way to remain healthy. However, some seniors may find it difficult to work out without the assistance of a trained caregiver. When considering home care, Edmonton, Alberta, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. To learn about our high-quality care plans, give Home Care Assistance a call at (780) 490-7337 today.