If Your Aging Parent is a Senior Citizen and Exercise is Lacking, You Need to Do This to
Keep Them Out of the Hospital!
Just because your aging parent is a senior citizen and exercise has to be simpler for them doesn’t mean they can’t still do some exercises- or that it can’t be fun.
- Bone loss is something we all go through as part of aging. Exercise, at least some types, can possibly slow down the effects of this bone loss.
Weight bearing exercises like walking, hiking and bicycling are among them.Keeping the body in motion with exercise also delays muscle weakening.
Studies link exercise with helping to keep aging seniors’ minds active and in good
, as well.
Before starting your parents on any exercise plan, be sure to have them first clear it with their doctor. This is especially true for those who have heart or joint problems.
But once approved, it is best to get into the habit of following a regular, steady exercise routine. This is better than stopping and then restarting it often, in order to see real results.
For the aging parent who is a senior citizen and exercise is the last thing they want to do, you can help minimize the exercising part.
- Play a game or sport with them like bowling or balloon tossing.
- You can even play in their living room: bean bag toss (aiming for a target “tarp” on the floor, that gives higher points the closer the bag lands towards the “bulls-eye” target in the center), or playing ring- or horseshoe- toss.
You don’t need to worry about not knowing where to begin in planning a workout routine. Help is always close at hand.
Many health clubs provide assistance in working up a fitness plan that would be right for your aging parents’ age and abilities.
You also don’t need to worry if they don’t live near a health club or don’t want to pay for one. Swimming and walking are both great stand-ins for an actual workout routine.
Simply aim for having Mom or Dad take a daily walk- or at least four or five times per week. For swimming, shoot for at least two or three times per week.
- They’re fun, require no equipment to buy and, in the case of swimming, if you have ready access to a pool, free.
- Some local city parks have a public pool that can be used free at certain times of the day.
- Swimming is an “aerobic” exercise. This is ideal for those with problem joints like hips or knees who are unable to do “weight-bearing” exercises.
As with any form of
senior citizen exercises
, they should watch for symptoms: shortness of breath or any sign of sudden pain in the joints, muscles or chest and stop if this occurs.
I know an older senior citizen and exercise seems easy for her. She does mostly walking. Another 84-year-old woman swims ten laps in the pool of her health club every day. She is convinced that this swimming is the reason for her high energy and the fact that she is so healthy.
Her 80-year-old husband is likewise convinced of his daily habit of weight-lifting. Both husband and wife are active and alert enough to put some 30-year-olds to shame. They both enjoy busy schedules: weekly bridge games, social club gatherings, singing group practice sessions, and dinners out, just to name a few.
All these are classic living, walking, talking examples of the benefits that exercise can do, if ever there were any.
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