Exercising isn’t just something that your loved one should be doing, it is something that when regularly done, will improve their quality of life. Sometimes your loved one may need some encouragement to get them as active as possible.
BetterHealth has outlined some things to consider in helping your loved one become fitter, stronger and more active.
Benefits to health
As people age, it can be difficult to keep balance at all times. Because of this, reducing the likelihood of your loved one experiencing a fall is extremely important. Balance and coordination exercises help to minimise the possibility of falls occurring. Tai chi, or something as simple as balancing on one leg or practicing heel to toe stands can make all the difference.
Want to improve flexibility? Try yoga, stretching exercises, lawn bowls, or dancing.
Want to improve bone health? Weight bearing exercises can reduce risk of bone loss and osteoporosis as your loved ones age.
Lifting weights or performing a modified form of Calisthenics will also help to build muscle tissues, as will any kind of strength training.
To improve heart and lung fitness, it is best to choose exercises that can be done at a more moderate intensity. The general rule is, for maximum benefit, have your loved one partake in exercise that makes them breath hard, but that won’t leave them breathless.
Implementing a routine and ensuring safety
One of the most difficult parts of implementing exercise into your loved one’s life is finding time for it in between all the other things that they do during the day.
Perhaps start with allocating 10-15 minutes at first, and then slowly work up to forty-five minutes, with breaks of course, depending on comfort level. This comfort level is different for every person. The best source of advice for how much exercise your loved one should be doing and the level of intensity of the work out should be from their doctor.
Your loved one’s doctor is your first point of call when commencing a new exercise regime, as some forms of exercise may not be suitable if they have been sedentary for a long time or if they suffer from obesity or chronic illness. It is always important to start slowly, and aim for small improvements. Track the progress in a diary for added motivation.
Making Exercise Fun
Exercise needs to be enjoyable for your loved one to want to keep doing it. Joining an exercise group or class, or even inviting old friends to tag along will allow them to socialise and prevent them from making excuses. Motivation increases dramatically when friends are close by. And besides, a little bit of competition between old friends or new ones always makes everything much more exciting!
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