Establishing a routine exercise habit is difficult at any age. Doing exercises is tiring. We would prefer not to commit the time. We’re feeling aches and pains from yesterday’s workout. We’ve all made excuses such as these for not staying physically fit; but frailty and advanced age make it even more challenging to follow an exercise routine and maintain physical fitness for seniors.
CareFor believes in the important benefits of physical fitness for seniors and offers tips to eliminate typical fitness roadblocks:
- Self-confidence: It’s natural for older adults to feel some measure of stress with the idea of achieving exercise goals. It can be beneficial to start slowly with exercises that are easily accomplished and progress gradually; and, motivate the senior with frequent encouragement.
- Attitude: Attitude is extremely important when it comes to physical fitness. If approached negatively, it will be much harder to stick to an effective exercise plan. Pick activities that will be pleasurable and that the older adult will look forward to.
- Pain: The saying, “No pain, no gain” actually isn’t true. Older individuals should refrain from overdoing it, and cut back the level of intensity if encountering pain or discomfort.
- Disabilities: Older adults with physical or cognitive limitations can and should continue to remain active in accordance with their ability level. Inquire with the health practitioner for a referral to a personal trainer or physical therapist who can come up with a program of specialized exercises.
- Fear of Injury/Balance Problems: There are a full range of adaptive devices to permit safe, effective exercising while still improving senior fitness.
- Financial Concerns: It does not have to cost a small fortune to remain fit! Walking and other basic exercises in and around the house, utilizing typical household objects, can be integrated into an exercise program at little to no cost.
- Fatigue or Illness: Exercises can be individualized to match the older individual’s energy level, and he or she may progressively increase the endurance level over time.
Bear in mind that the trick to ongoing success with an exercise regimen is to ensure the senior feels comfortable and safe with the strategy and the exercises. If irritation is observed in muscles or joints the day after exercising, a lower intensity can be put in place; and check with the doctor if the pain or discomfort continues.
CareFor’s caregivers will work with your loved one’s physician to implement a safe exercise plan based upon his or her abilities to boost strength, independence, and overall quality of life. Email or give us a call at (512) 338-4533 to learn more about the positive effects of daily exercise in improving physical fitness for seniors, and to find out more about how our elder home care in the Austin area can help! To find out if we offer home care in your community, visit our Service Area page.