Regular exercise is good for an aging loved one for a variety of reasons and benefits. Exercise can help to improve their cardiovascular health, flexibility, and strength. It can often help reduce the risk of falls and other common accidents that are faced by the elderly.
Exercise has also been shown to improve their mental health lessening their risks around depression and anxiety. This can also be connected to fighting the cognitive decline that many aging loved ones will also face.
Exercise can also lead to them making new social connections and increasing their independence which all lead to fighting feelings of isolation – a common challenge in assisted living facilities. Overall, regular exercise is an important part of maintaining good health and well-being for older adults. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially if the individual has any underlying health conditions.
It can be challenging to encourage an aging loved one to exercise, but there are several strategies you can try to help them get more physical activity:
- Find activities they enjoy: Look for physical activities that your loved one enjoys or has expressed an interest in trying. This could be walking, dancing, swimming, gardening, or any other activity that they find enjoyable.
- Make it social: Encourage your loved one to exercise with friends or family members. This can make physical activity more enjoyable and provide an opportunity for socialization.
- Keep it simple: Start with small, manageable goals and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the activity. For example, you could start with a short walk around the block and gradually build up to longer walks or more strenuous activities.
- Offer support and encouragement: Encourage your loved one to set fitness goals and celebrate their progress. Offer support and encouragement along the way, and remind them of the benefits of physical activity for their health and well-being.
- Consider hiring a professional: If your loved one is hesitant to exercise or is unsure how to get started, consider hiring a personal trainer or physical therapist to work with them on an individualized exercise plan.
Remember to be patient and understanding, as it may take some time for your loved one to develop an exercise routine. The most important thing is to find activities that they enjoy and can stick with in the long term.