As your loved one gets older, it becomes more important than ever for them to stay active. If they’ve avoided doing exercise for much of their life, it can be hard for them to get started as there are so many types of exercises that can be done.
The NHS recommends that all adults aged 65 and over should do at least either 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Older people should aim to be physically active every day and reduce the amount of time they spend not exercising with some physical activities. There are plenty of benefits for older adults doing exercise.
While there are many different types of exercise that older adults can do, we’ve picked five exercises that can be done by your loved one.
Why should elderly people exercise?
Exercise is an important activity when it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle for elderly people. As your loved one gets older, the amount of physical activity that they do declines as they age.
Regular exercise for your loved one does not require you to do intense workouts, such as long-distance running or lifting heavy weights. Doing a little bit of exercise, which can build up overtime to high intensity workouts can help improve their health, as well as their quality of life. Doing regular exercise can help your loved one maintain their independence at home.
Older people who have complex long-term illnesses can still stay active through our complex care service. A carer specialising in complex care will be on hand to ensure they can stay active through doing various exercises. We can adapt each exercise for them to ensure that they can get their daily amount of physical activity in.
Do some strength training in the gym
Strength training can be done at any age, making it a great form of exercise to do. For older adults in their 60’s and 70’s, it’s important that you do exercises that build both strength and stability, but are also safe to do. The gym is a great place to do a variety of exercises that can build both their balance and flexibility.
Most gyms provide dedicated spaces for weights and cardio machines, thus giving older adults plenty of choice to vary their workouts. If they have never visited a gym before, then going with a family member or friend can give them moral support, thus making their workouts more enjoyable and fun.
It may also be worth attending coached sessions, which are run by coaches who lead cardio or strength-based workouts.
Tai chi is a fantastic form of exercise for older adults as it’s a low impact exercise which puts minimal stress on their muscles and joints. With tai chi, it does not require a significant amount of time to do a workout, thus making it the perfect workout for both their mind and body.
The benefits of doing tai chi for older adults are endless as it can help them improve their balance, as well as strengthen their core and reduce back pain. As there are so many different styles of this martial art, it can be adapted depending on the health of your loved one. If an older adult is at risk of falling, then it’s worth doing sitting tai chi.
Go for a swim with relatives or friends
Swimming is similar to tai chi in that it’s a low impact aerobic exercise. Whether you do four lengths or 64 lengths of the pool, it can easily get their heart rate up while also improving their breathing.
Older people are more likely to experience joint pain and discomfort while doing exercise. The water provides support to your loved one, which means that they can enjoy a good workout without putting additional stress on their joints.
If your loved one doesn’t enjoy swimming alone, then it’s worth getting your relatives or friends along to join them for a swim. By having people to swim with, it can make it into an activity that everyone can enjoy.
Make walking a regular part of their exercise routine
Walking is a fantastic form of exercise, which does not require spending hundreds of pounds on a gym membership. The UK has no shortage of places to enjoy going for a walk, which makes getting your regular exercise in more enjoyable, whether that’s in the countryside or in the city centre.
If you are thinking about including walking into your older relative’s workout plan, you should make sure that you build up their endurance overtime. It’s worth starting off with short walks and gradually increasing the distance so that they can complete each walk without getting tired.
Do bodyweight exercises
An alternative to doing strength training is to do exercises that require using your loved one’s body weight. They are a great starting point as they require minimal equipment to do each exercise, compared to using cardio machines or weights at the gym.
Some of the best bodyweight exercises that older adults can do include planks, squats, glute bridges and lunges to name but a few. If your loved one is doing bodyweight exercises for the first time, it’s important that you start small and increase the intensity or repetitions of each exercise over time.
Doing this reduces the chances of them getting injured while doing bodyweight exercises at home.
How Sova Healthcare Can Get Your Loved One To Do Exercise
Starting an exercise routine for your loved one can be daunting at first, but it can bring real benefits for both their mental and physical health. Sova’s team of specialist carers will make sure that they keep them active through a variety of different exercises during the week.
Sova’s live-in care service can ensure that your loved one is cared for from the comfort of their own home. It’s a fantastic alternative to care homes, which means that you can maintain your independence while doing the activities you love. A carer will also be able to assist you in making sure that you maintain a daily exercise routine to keep you moving during the day.
If you have any questions around getting your loved one to do exercise, contact our team of advisors today.