Physical exercise is important at any age, helping us to live longer and healthier lives. It’s never too late to start exercising, as there’s strong evidence to suggest that physical exercise can produce significant health benefits to even those in their later years of life.
It can be challenging to encourage seniors to exercise due to their reduced mobility or general tiredness, but doing so is essential as it’s one of the best ways to prevent falls in the future. If you have an elderly relative or friend who is hesitant to get active, here are some ways you can help them to make the most of every day.
Encourage them to do things they enjoy
The best way to adopt exercise is to do things that are fun. Some people enjoy group activities like aerobics, while others prefer something calming like swimming or walking. Physical activity shouldn’t feel like a chore, and choosing the right one can ensure it is good for both the body and the mind.
Look into local classes and groups
Many leisure centres, swimming pools and gyms run classes specifically for seniors, and they are a great way to meet new people and stay active at the same time. Some councils even give free or discounted entry to their leisure centres for people over 65, so there’s no excuse not to give it a go. Check what’s on offer in your local area and help your loved one with signing up.
Focus on small changes
Making small changes over time is easier than doing everything at once. If someone is uncertain about going to classes or taking up a new activity, try and get them to exercise in other ways. Walking to the shop instead of using public transport, parking the car further away from the supermarket or getting off the bus one stop early are small changes that can make a big difference over time.
Make exercise part of the routine
It takes time to develop a routine. Expect at least one month before physical activities start to feel natural. However, once those healthy habits develop, it won’t feel like an addition to your normal routine anymore and sticking to it will become a lot easier. Suggest a regular activity, like a short walk in the afternoon at a specific time. It might be difficult to remember at first, but eventually, it will just be a part of daily life. If your loved one has daily visits from our care workers, we can incorporate exercise into the visit for extra encouragement and support.
Get professional advice and guidance
Keep in mind that anyone who has been inactive for an extended period should seek advice before embarking on an ambitious regime. Some seniors may be hesitant about taking up exercise if they have any medical conditions, reduced mobility or are disabled. GP’s and physiotherapists can advise how best to approach activity in everyday life, along with suggesting appropriate exercises to try. Getting help from professional home carers like us can ensure these exercises are done correctly as well.
Better Healthcare provides quality elderly care and support
Call Better Healthcare Services to arrange home care visits if your loved one is struggling to stay active or is worried about physical activity after an injury or illness. Our carers can make 30-minute or more appointments to help them get up and about. We assist many seniors with tasks such as:
- Washing and dressing
- Getting in and out of bed
- Food preparation and cooking
- Light housework
- Supervising medication and collecting prescriptions
- Visiting the doctor and attending hospital appointments
- Outings, companionship and social care
To get care from people who are passionate about the work they do, call Better Healthcare Services today on 0800 668 1234. Alternatively, get in touch with your local office directly: