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Regular physical exercise has an array of known benefits for seniors. For example, exercise can improve seniors quality of life, reduce the risk of falls, alleviate depression and reduce stress, improve heart health, and slow the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. However, one of the main concerns for seniors when it comes to exercise is the risk of injury to themselves. So here are ten tips on how to become more physically active over 65, from the Council on Active Ageing (ICAA).
Before beginning regular exercise, it is best to check with your GP to see whether there are any health issues that need to be considered. Ask your GP about ways that you can safely increase the amount of physical activity you do now, to prevent any injuries.
There are so many different kinds of exercise programs available and so many ways to keep fit. Explore your options and be sure to pick a program that you will enjoy, this will not only make exercise more fun for you at the time but will also make you more likely to continue and make a habit of it. Remember: Any kind of physical activity is beneficial if done regularly.
Find a program that works for you. Would you prefer to exercise in a group setting, with a loved one or alone? What time of day is better? Do you prefer to exercise indoors or outside? Are shorter, more frequent exercises more realistic than committing large blocks of time to physical exercise?
Start lightly and build up to more intense activity. Many seniors are eager to get started and sometimes overdo it, usually making them sore and less inclined to continue exercising.
Stretch, walk, march in place, stand and sit as many times as possible when watching television or on the phone.
Foot support and foot comfort is important for all physical activities which is why shoes worn during exercise should always be well-fitting and sturdy.mThese shoes should also have good arch support and an elevated cushioned heel to absorb shock. With the right shoes, even seniors with arthritis, diabetes or orthopaedic problems can remain physically active.
Hydration is important in reducing fatigue, staying cool and replenishing what is lost through perspiration. Invest in a refillable water bottle and ensure to keep it with you at all times when exercising.
Do not work through pain but only ever around it. Stop the activity if it is causing pain, dizziness or shortness of breath.
It is so important to take time to warm up and cool down and stretch to prevent injury and soreness to muscles and joints.
Make exercise an activity that is just part of your daily life, like brushing your teeth. Incorporating exercise as a permanent lifestyle change should be the ultimate goal. Your Home Care Assistance, in-home caregiver will be happy to encourage you in your fitness journey and help ensure that you are ontrack.