Maintaining a healthy weight and adequate muscle tone helps aging adults stay mobile. However, not all seniors have the motivation to exercise, especially those with conditions like arthritis or chronic joint pain. Here are five ways caregivers can help their senior loved ones get into good shape.
1. Consult a Doctor
Sometimes, the encouragement of a loving caregiver isn’t enough to get seniors to change their lifestyle habits. However, they’re more likely to listen to a professional. When you want to increase your loved one’s fitness, schedule a doctor’s appointment. The doctor can inform your loved one of the potential consequences of unhealthy lifestyle habits and give expert recommendations. Doctors understand the physical limitations of seniors, and they can provide exercise regimens that alleviate pain, enhance mobility, and boost overall health and quality of life.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Allentown senior care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Start Slow
When trying to motivate a senior who hasn’t exercised in a while, start slow. Seniors who overexert themselves on their first exercise session are more likely to quit before exercising becomes a habit. Instead of trying an intermediate yoga session or an intense aerobics class, your loved one should try going for a walk in the park. Your loved one doesn’t have to push through the pain. Instead, he or she should feel free to rest or drink water when feeling lightheaded. By easing into exercise, your loved one is more likely to continue the new habit.
3. Suggest Senior-Friendly Group Exercise Classes
Many seniors don’t get enough exercise because they lack the motivation. Group exercise classes provide the encouragement seniors need to meet their fitness goals. There are senior-friendly classes tailored to all fitness levels. Many seniors enjoy water aerobics, which relieves stress on the joints and offers an effective cardiovascular workout. Chair aerobics are great for seniors with limited mobility, and senior-friendly yoga is ideal for those looking to relieve back or joint pain. Many seniors diligently attend group exercise classes because it gives them the opportunity to chat with their friends. You can help your loved one by researching local exercise classes and offering transportation if necessary.
Attending group exercise classes is just one of the many ways older adults can socialize. For families living in Allentown, PA, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
4. Encourage Strength Training and Cardio Exercises
Finding the right exercise regimen is different for every senior. Older adults with limited mobility may stick to chair exercises, while those who want to increase their flexibility may enjoy Pilates. When your loved one’s fitness levels increase, he or she should try to incorporate strength training and cardiovascular exercises into the weekly regimen. Strength training helps seniors maintain bone density and muscle tone, and cardiovascular exercises help them lose weight and stay agile.
5. Promote Healthy Eating
To get into shape, seniors can’t rely on exercise alone. They also need to make healthy nutritional choices. Seniors should eat a diet filled with lean proteins and colorful fruits and vegetables. When your loved one eats carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and cereal, he or she should opt for fiber-heavy, whole grain options. Your loved one should also avoid high-fat foods, as they offer no nutritional benefits. Always keep your loved one’s kitchen stocked with healthy food options.
By making healthy lifestyle choices, seniors can get into good shape and stave off a wide variety of diseases. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits and accomplishing daily tasks, an Allentown caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers are expertly trained to provide mental and social stimulation, assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your senior loved one, call us at 484-350-3874 today.