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Of course, you'd want your parent to be as strong as possible. But the question is, are you giving them the right exercise to keep them healthy and strong?
It is a good idea to check with her primary care physician prior to beginning a new exercise routine. Her doctor may have a specific guideline related to her medical history or current medical status. Most likely though, she will be given the green light to begin an exercise program.
Mom may be resistant to exercise, after all, she never needed to exercise before.
This is quite common among our aging mothers.
According to the CDC, by age seventy-five, 33% percent of men and 50% of women engage in no physical activity. But the benefits significantly outweigh the risks for her to start exercising. Start slow and encourage building exercise into her routine. This will help build progressively.
Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease, becoming diabetic, hypertensive or developing colon cancer.
And the best exercises for seniors at home also reduces blood pressure in certain people with hypertension.
Though chronic and disabling conditions may make starting an exercise program seem more difficult, it has been shown to help with the management of these conditions such as arthritis.
Daily exercise has been shown to help our parents live independently longer with reduced risk of fall and serious injury.
It also has been linked to improved mental well being with reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Reduces the pain and joint swelling associated with arthritis.
These benefits and much more information is given by the CDC here.
Dehydration, overuse injuries, muscle strains and extreme fatigue are possible negative outcomes associated with exercise in the elderly. These risks are most likely to result from excessive high intensity exercise. This is unlikely to be a concern with a proper progressive light to moderate intensity exercise program. Even building up to some high intensity activity is a good thing, but start slow. Progressing slowly will limit the soreness that can appear after increasing intensity too quickly.
It is plain to see that the benefits of exercise outweigh the potential risk, but how do you convince mom to give it a try?
Participate in the activity with her, or encourage her to join a friend to increase the social aspect of exercise.
Another option is to explain all the benefits such as living independently longer, or improved physical fitness and link this to something she finds highly valuable.
Suggesting she will be able to spend more quality time with the grandchildren or great grandchildren may be enough of a motivator.
Another way to get her buy in is to ask what she is having difficulty with and tailor the activity towards that challenge. This can improve her quality of life in a way that is apparent to her, making her more likely to want to continue.
For those who have not been regular exercisers in the past, start with 5-10 minutes of light walking.
Start at home.
This way mom is comfortable and this reduces the barriers to begin an exercise program. She knows it is a climate-controlled environment, she knows where to find places to rest as needed, and the restroom is near.
Tell her to take a break when she is starting to lose her breath, or if talking while exercising is difficult. This will make sure mom doesn’t overdo it initially.
Once she is able to walk and talk for 15 minutes with minimal difficulty, it is safe to increase the intensity, add a new exercise or take the walk outdoors.
Slowly build up to 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity daily exercise.
Some of the best exercises include chair yoga, resistance bands, and pilates.
Here's a quick list of the best exercises for seniors at home, and a few you would need to avoid.
If mom experiences any of these symptoms when she is exercising, it is best to stop and consult her doctor before continuing with the exercise routine.
The benefits of exercise significantly outweigh the risks associated with exercise. Participate with her or encourage her to exercise with a friend. Start slowly and build up to 30-60 minutes of daily exercise. Stop exercise and check with you physician if you experience the above symptoms when exercising.
That is all for today.
What are your recommendations for the best exercises for seniors at home?
Don't forget to share!
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!