The American Family Physiciansays that exercise is one of the most positive ways to improve health. So as people who provide senior care, how do we help seniors get the most benefit from exercise? One of the first things we can do is to understand how much exercise seniors need. In this healthy seniors exercise blog, we look at how to empower seniors to become physically fit.
How Much is Enough Exercise
For healthy adults, and seniors the CDC recommends two hours and a half hours of exercise per week. By exercise, they mean moderate activity such as walking fast. That segment of exercise covers the cardio aspect of senior health. For strength gaining the CDC recommends two sessions per week where each session covers all of the major muscle groups such as the:
- Senior Care — Helping Seniors Get the Most out of Exercise
Only one person out of every five people meets the physical activity guidelines from 2008, says the CDC. That is just 21 percent of all adults in America. As caregivers, we can help seniors gain the most benefits from exercise by making sure that we offer a range of activities. A good example would be to form a walking club so that seniors felt inspired to walk 3-5 times per week.
Another awesome tip is to focus on disabilities. In a senior living situation or in nursing homes, you can set up classes that target people in wheelchairs so that the entire class offers exercises that someone in a wheelchair can perform. The same idea is great for people who have had strokes. At Dynamic Nursing, we take pride in our ability to help seniors exercise safely and effectively. We start with caring staff and then teach them how to help seniors exercise. We make it fun so seniors enjoy exercising, even if they have a disability.
Make it Fun
If you want seniors to keep exercising make it fun. One of the keys to starting a new health goal is to celebrate every success. If care giving services that work with individuals rather than with groups focus on individual goals and accomplishments. A good tip is to use a calendar. Cross off days where exercise goals were met and highlight goal achievements with a sticker. This allows the senior to visualize their progress and that encourages them to succeed. Rewards do not have to expensive just meaningful.
Senior care should focus on health and on improving the quality of life of each senior in our care. Exercise is a good way to do both. Regular exercise helps diabetics manage their blood sugar levels. It helps to improve cardiac health and improves balance too. However you stack it up, elder care and exercise make positive changes for each senior who participate. As senior care providers, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of seniors. Helping them get the most out of exercise is a good place to start.