Healthy Exercise Programs for Seniors
As we age our bodies can become rigid, tight, and achy. To counteract this it is important to stay physically active to maintain agility, flexibility and mobility. This will keep both the body and mind functioning well in older age. If you or a loved one is looking for a healthy exercise program to stay fit with age, consider walking, chair yoga, water aerobics or tai chi. These practices all have great health benefits for seniors and can often be done in the comfort of your own home or with limited space. Our certified nursing professionals can also help supervise and assist with exercise programs so the patient is safe and gets the most out of their in home care experience.
Walking, as simple as it seems, is a great source of exercise for seniors, elderly, and those with physical health conditions. Even if it is rudimentary, slow, or perhaps with a walker or in a wheelchair, walking is important. Walking is a behavior most of us are accustomed to doing throughout our lives and it is important to keep up with even in some small way as we age. Walking keeps up cardiovascular health, and benefits mobility and strength. If you live in Miami or south Florida, the weather is great for walking year round, so there is no reason not to. Our certified nurses would be proud to support the health and well being of your aging parent by assisting or accompanying them on walks.
Chair yoga is a great practice because it is accessible to all ranges of mobility, physical fitness, and ability levels. Chair yoga can quite literally mean, simple stretch movements while seated in a chair. It can also include standing postures using the chair for balance and support. Yoga is beneficial because it is both a form of exercise and mindfulness. Simple movements like turning the neck, lifting and lowering the arms, and leaning side to side help us come deeper into touch with our own body. We also gain flexibility and patience. With chair yoga, seniors can quiet down the mind from the stresses of many life concerns, and simply relax with awareness of breath and body. Specialized Nursing Services nurses can lead your elderly parent through simple yoga poses as a healthy exercise program.
Water aerobics are a great source of movement and low impact exercise for seniors with good mobility. With the buoyancy and weight displacement of water, bones and joints have the opportunity to find decompression and extension. Water aerobics are also good for seniors because it helps build endurance. Certain movements, like lifting the arms up and down, and kicking the legs, help elevate the heart rate and stimulate circulatory processes. If your loved one is in the south Florida area and has access to a swimming pool, a great healthy exercise is water aerobics.
Tai chi is a fantastic form of exercise for seniors and anyone facing challenging physical impairments. Tai chi is a traditional form of self defense originating in China. With a philosophy based in ‘yin and yang,’ tai chi as a practice calls for slow, methodical, and disciplined movements. This deliberate slowing down builds steadiness and strengthens focus. With a gentle practice of tai chi, students learn to manipulate the body and energy flow. As a result comes better muscular control and stability. Tai chi is a great exercise for the elderly because it is slow moving and gentle on the body.
In caring for seniors or elderly loved ones, it is important to keep active and healthy. Try any of these practices as a way to increase heart rate, decrease stress and maintain good physical wellbeing.
If you have any questions, we’re ready to help. Contact Specialized Nursing Services when you need help.