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5 Ways Older Adults Can Boost Fitness

By , 9:00 am on

Exercising regularly is vital for older adults to maintain optimal health. Between the ages of 30 and 80, adults lose approximately 15 percent of their muscle mass. By exercising, seniors can maintain their muscle mass and metabolism rate, which prevents weight gain. Working out also controls blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels. When contemplating a new fitness program, seniors should consider these tips so they make the right choices.

1. Include Aerobic Activity

Aerobic exercise increases heart rate, which strengthens the cardiovascular system. When seniors do regular aerobic exercise, the resting heart rate and blood pressure become lower over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises older adults to get 150 minutes of moderately intense activity every week. The recommended exercise may include cycling, swimming, walking, or water aerobics. Other options include ballroom dancing, square dancing, and tai chi. 

If your loved one needs help to exercise safely, hiring a professional caregiver may be an ideal solution. Clearwater elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

2. Try Strength Training

Carrying objects from one location to another, walking up stairs, and simply getting out of bed all require using various muscles. Strength training exercises ensure older adults maintain or increase their muscle strength. The CDC recommends that older adults strive to include some type of strength training activity two times a week. The exercise is easily accomplished by wearing ankle and wrist weights while walking. Some might enjoy working out with free weights, while others prefer the social benefits of going to the gym and using the machines. Any activity that provides resistance is appropriate for strength training.

3. Stretch Before & After Workouts

Before beginning their workout sessions, seniors need to warm their muscles for at least 10 minutes to prevent injury. Stretching warms major muscle groups and prepares them for more rigorous activity., and it also relaxes muscles after completing an exercise routine. In time, seniors also become more flexible. When performing stretches, seniors should hold the position for five seconds and release, never pushing the action to the point of causing pain. 

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, hiring a professional caregiver to take over on occasion is a great option. Clearwater respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

4. Start Slow

When enthusiastically beginning an exercise routine, some may be tempted to push their bodies too far. Seniors who formerly lived sedentary lifestyles are particularly at risk for injury. Spending days recovering from overdoing activities may discourage older adults, which leads to quitting. Whatever exercise seniors choose, they should start slow and gradually increase the intensity and the number of repetitions. They should start by working out for five or ten minutes. In a week, they can increase the length of time, go for a slow-paced leisurely walk around the block, and gradually lengthen the distance.

5. Make a Daily Commitment

Seniors who make a point of participating in some type of daily physical activity reap many different benefits. Their energy levels increase, they’re happier, they sleep better, and they reduce the risk of developing several health issues. Older adults should also alternate the types of physical activity from one day to the next. Switching activities keeps the workouts more interesting and increases the likelihood that all body regions are receiving attention.

Assistance with exercising safely is just one of the benefits seniors receive when families enlist the help of a trained professional caregiver. Clearwater home care service experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Call Home Care Assistance today at (727) 330-7862 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.