It’s important that as we get older, we try to stay fit and healthy. If possible, exercise should be undertaken regularly. Keeping active can help keep us from declining as we age and is great for the body, mind, and soul. From helping us stay or improve mobility, to enhancing our mood, to increasing our social calendar, keeping active is essential for all of us, but especially our elderly loved ones.
As we age though, we may not be able to enjoy the same sports and exercise that we did when we were younger. Those with arthritis or other mobility and joint issues may find water sports, such as swimming or water aerobics beneficial. The water helps to support the body, making it easy on the joints and has been shown to improve flexibility and strength over time.
Nordic Walking has become increasingly popular and is a good option for the more mobile. Using walking poles, Nordic walking leads to a significant pressure reduction of about 50% on the central metatarsals and there have been several studies on the many benefits.
In 2003, Eileen Collins and her team of researchers studied fifty-two patients with vascular disease, ages 65-70 years old. The participants Nordic Walked three times a week for thirty to forty-five minutes. They were also given 400 IU of Vitamin E daily. The researchers concluded that while Vitamin E seemed to cause little added benefit, Nordic Walking effectively improved both the tolerance for exercise and the perceived quality of life for patients with PAD (peripheral arterial disease).
Keeping active together
If your elderly loved one is bodily able to exercise but doesn’t seem keen, it may be that they don’t wish to exercise on their own. Accompanying them will give you time together as well as help you both feel healthier. At Americare Main Line we are also able to help accompany your loved one for walks.
If your loved one is unable to walk or stand for prolonged periods, they can still stay active. There are a range of exercise they can do from sitting down such as upper body twists, arm circles, hip marching, and ankle twists.
Keeping fit and healthy is important for all of us, but especially so as we reach our senior years.