Senior Citizen Exercises for Your Aging Parents Help Keep Them
Out of the Hospital!
Adding senior citizen exercises to your care plan for your aging parents does not have to be difficult. Most senior citizen exercises are easy (they have to be) and some can actually be fun, both for them and for you.
- If your aging parent is able to get out into the garden and enjoys it, just walking through it or taking a stroll down the street together is good exercise, and good for their entire body.
They should try to go for a walk daily if possible, or, if not, 4-5 times per week. In the garden itself, planting, weeding and similar tasks are good workouts for fingers and hands that do not have arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Swimming is another good option. It, too, exercises the entire body and is one of the best forms of exercise you can do.
- For more focused exercise, buy an in-home, lightweight set of bowling pins and “ball”. The ball is made of a soft rubber, with holes that are big enough for your aging parents’ gnarly knuckles.
The pins are likewise lightweight, and made of a hard plastic or rubber. Set up the pins in a “V” pattern on a solid, hard surface, announce that the bowling league’s games are about to begin at [your last name’s] Lanes, and let ’em rip!
- Fans of tamer games might get into bean bag tossing or “volley balloon”, in which a volleyball net is set up to hit the ball over and keep it up in the air (you on one side and they on the other), only, instead of using a volleyball, you’re using a balloon.
Just don’t blow up the balloon with helium or it will float to the ceiling and you’d never get it down. Then it becomes exercise only for you, of the ceiling-crawling variety, which, though fun for them to watch, really does Mom or Dad no good.
- You can also raise and lower a mock parachute silk to work the arms and shoulders. This is best done in a group, with several hands gripping the parachute silk and then raising and lowering it all together.
- Weight-lifting is also good for mind and body, as long as your aging parent doesn’t have problem weight-bearing joints like hips or knees, or a heart condition. Of course you should always clear any exercise program with your parent’s doctor before you have them begin one.
Play a tape of wheelchair exercises. These work various parts of the body using simple movements. The exercises often involve
- raising and lowering the arms at the sides up to shoulder level, or in front, or overhead;
- raising and lowering the feet in a “scissors”-type motion while sitting;
- raising both arms overhead and bending at the waist to the left and then to the right;
- rolling one’s head clockwise, then counter-clockwise;
- raising and lowering shoulders up to the ears in a deep shrug.
You just might discover that by adding senior citizen exercises to your aging parent’s care, you can work in some fun, work out some stiffness and stress, and work on strengthening your mind, body and bond, as never before. Time to get started, and get fit, today!Top of page
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