Exercise can give your senior better balance, improved strength, and better endurance. But if she hasn’t exercised before, she might be feeling intimidated.
Run it Past Her Doctor First
The very first step to ever starting a new exercise program, especially for your senior, is to make sure her doctor is on board with the idea. Her doctor can make sure that exercise is okay for her at her current health levels. If she’s not able to exercise just yet, her doctor may have other suggestions, like physical therapy.
Focus on Activity Rather than Working Out
It’s a good idea to put the focus on being more active rather than working out or exercising. The idea behind this is simply to make it sound more appealing, but that never hurts. Find activities that your senior enjoys, because that’s going to help her to stick with those for a longer period. She might even find that she loves being more active when she enjoys what she’s doing.
Tackle Little Goals Slowly
Being more active isn’t about getting your senior to a certain goal quickly. This is simply about helping her to move more and to enjoy the process. So, with that in mind, she can set goals, but they need to be smaller ones that she can handle when she gets there. Racing toward a goal might just get her injured rather than help her in any solid way.
Gradually Ramp up the Plan
As your elderly family member gets more used to moving, she can ramp up her activity slowly. If she’s been walking around the block for a month or so, she might start to walk faster, or she might decide to walk for a longer distance than usual. Each of these help her to do a little bit more as she’s able to do it.
It Really Never Is Too Late to Start Moving More
Your elderly family member might have been avoiding exercise simply because she’s growing older and it seems ridiculous to her. But it’s never too late for her to start moving a little bit more and to work her muscles. Even if she walks around the block with the help of senior care providers, she’s still up and moving and that matters a lot.
Give your senior a little bit of time to get up to speed with her new exercise plan. She just might surprise you by loving it after a while.
Excerpt: Exercise gives your senior a boost in energy, helps her to sleep better, and can keep her from declining too quickly.
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