Exercise isn’t always something that caregivers think about when it comes to their elderly family member. But it can do a lot of good, especially if you’re focusing on the main four types of exercise. Work with your elderly family member’s doctor to tailor her exercise program to her needs.
Strength Training Exercises.
It might be silly to consider strength training exercises for an aging family member, but they can help her to slow down muscle loss. Losing muscle tone is a fast way for your elderly family member to have trouble with mobility and with doing the regular daily activities that she enjoys. Even just using resistance bands a few times a week can help your senior to maintain her muscle tone.
Maintaining balance is vital for your elderly family member. If her balance is poor, she is at a greater risk of falling. Even if your elderly family member uses assistive devices and finds it helpful to have you or home care providers available to assist with moving, practicing balance moves is important. If your senior’s balance is really bad, consider working with a physical therapist to determine what moves will help her most.
Muscles, joints, and ligaments that are tense and tight can cause your senior to have less range of movement than she should. Gentle stretching can help to improve your aging family member’s flexibility and lubricate her joints. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Simple stretches a few times a day can help her more than she might expect. If she’s a little more active in general, consider something more advanced, like yoga classes.
Cardio is what gets your senior’s blood pumping and her lungs working. Walking, swimming, and biking are all excellent choices for cardio. The key to building up to a strong cardio workout is to start out slowly and gradually work up to longer or more intense workouts. Your senior doesn’t have to jog a mile the first day she’s ready to get moving. A walk around the block can be just as beneficial to start out.
Make sure that you check with your elderly family member’s doctor about what exercise is right for her current health levels. It’s much easier to start out slowly and to gradually work up to daily workouts. In time, your elderly family member may find that exercise is a lot more fun for her than she expected it to be.