At The Peninsula, our activity calendar offers residents a variety of exercise options and their participation is always encouraged. There are so many benefits from exercising that our activity director is always saying, “It’s never too late to start exercising,” when she reminds someone to come to a class!
Whether your parent lives in an assisted living community or not, there are many opportunities available for seniors to participate in a regular exercise program. Encourage them to one to counter sitting in front of a television.
Exercise is beneficial at any age. Being physically active can help someone continue doing the things they enjoy and stay as independent as possible. The right kind of regular exercise can reduce heart disease, diabetes and falls. Exercise can also manage health conditions, reduce stress and improve stamina. People who exercise 15-30 minutes a day have an improved outlook and are less prone to depression.
Exercising with others helps motivation and enthusiasm. At The Peninsula, one of our residents volunteered to teach a morning exercise class and she taught this class for 11 years. At 91 years of age, she had everyone stretching their hands and feet for improved circulation and flexibility and her classes at 9 a.m. had excellent attendance.
Exercising classes or programs help people socialize. I always enjoy seeing the early morning walkers either in my neighborhood or at the beach. These regulars usually have someone walking with them for company.
Before starting an exercise program, older adults should always talk to their health care provider.
A good exercise program should combine different exercises. You should also focus on improving muscle strength which is accomplished by lifting weights or using a resistance band.
Balance is very important as well and physical therapists can be helpful in finding exercises to help improve balance. Tai chi is excellent for balance. Stretching helps the body stay limber and there are excellent stretching exercises that can be done sitting in a chair.
If you are talking with you mom and she says she just came back from an exercise class, applaud her motivation. She just may inspire you too.