Staying Active

Senior Workout - Lifting WeightFor seniors, staying active is part of the foundation which strong health can be firmly built upon.  The benefits of increased activity far outweigh any of the risks associated with it.  The results of numerous studies of seniors who are active versus those that are not are overwhelming.   Those that are sedentary suffer from lack of energy, intermittent sleep and higher levels of stress.  Active seniors reap many rewards for their efforts including improved balance, strength and coordination.   With more healthy sleep patterns, they enjoy increased levels of energy.    The health benefits also include a lessened likelihood of the development of chronic illnesses/diseases that often plague their peers including:  diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.   Apart from the obvious physical benefits of an active lifestyle, there are also important advantages that are gained from a mental health standpoint.  Overall, mental health flourishes under a health regimen that highlights increased activity.  The brain is more fully engaged which promotes mental acuity.  This mental acuity prevents memory loss, and can even slow the progress of Alzheimer’s which so many of our seniors struggle with.

Fitness is a goal not easily attained, but can be reached through increased physical activity in the form of exercise.  Many think of exercising as a young person’s game, appealing to the younger members of our world.  More awareness has led to a multitude of exercise plans and options for seniors.   Common thinking has trained people to believe that joining a gym is the only way to reach their fitness goals.  This logic is untrue, and has been proven false by the success stories of those who have found other ways to reach their fitness goals.   Simple daily activities can be very effective in becoming fit.  Playing with grandkids, house cleaning, or taking a walk with a friend or a pet are simple, yet effective strategies.  There are also many groups of seniors who swear by activities like mall walking or water aerobics.  The great thing is all of these activities can be tailored to meet the abilities or limitations of the person doing them.

There are some considerations and planning that must precede the implementation of a physical fitness program.  As always, seniors should discuss their plans with their doctor or health professional.  This can make them aware of any restrictions that they must follow closely to protect themselves.  A gung ho attitude is a great thing most of the time, but to avoid injury or setback, it is important for seniors to start slow.  Planning their activities within a schedule can be very effective, and can help track progress more accurately.   The setting of goals can be a great motivational tool, but they must be tempered by reality so as not to lose momentum.   The biggest goal of our seniors is to be safe and be aware of the cues given by their bodies.  If there is shortness of breath, dizziness, loss of balance or pain, it is wise to slow down or stop altogether.   Here To Help Home Care is dedicated to encouraging a healthy/fit environment for our clients.  Our caregivers provide our clients with encouragement, assistance with walking, and can drop off/pick up from the places where our clients are enjoying their activities.  Let Here To Help Home Care build a healthy relationship with your loved one!

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