One of the most important things caregivers can do to help their loved ones stay healthy is to keep them active. Exercising their mind, body, and spirit regularly can not only prevent a decline in your loved one’s health but also help them thrive in their later years.
Depending on the health and age of your loved one, physical exercise can be a challenge. It might be difficult for them to even walk slowly to the bathroom or get in and out of bed on their own. But there are still ways to ensure that those with limited mobility can still keep their bodies active – even from the chair or couch.
There are plenty of activities that can be done from a sitting position to get the heart pumping and work out the body’s kinks. There are various types of exercises that each accomplish different goals, and that require varying degrees of exertion.
Cardiovascular exercises raise the heart rate and can increase endurance. These exercises can include more active things like walking, running, cycling, dancing, tennis, swimming, water aerobics, or “aquajogging.”
Many people with mobility issues find exercising in water especially beneficial as it supports the body and reduces the risk of muscle or joint discomfort.
Even if your loved one is confined to a chair or wheelchair, it’s still possible to perform the cardiovascular exercise without putting undue pressure or strain on their bodies. Movement works to lubricate joints and keep them flexible, strengthen and stabilize individual muscles and increase blood circulation.
Exercises that require large arm movements are part of a strong cardiovascular workout. Doing big arm circles accomplishes this. One arm should point to the ceiling while one points to the floor, alternating around in circles.
Make fists and hold them in front of your chest at shoulder height. Punch forward, alternating hands. Try to hold your abdominal muscles tight as you punch.
Stationary Jumping Jacks
Move your arms as if you were doing jumping jacks, but keep your legs stationary. Start with your arms straight down by your sides and move them up to clap above your head, keeping them straight throughout the movement.
Working the large muscles in your thighs can raise your heart rate quickly, increase endurance and keep the cardiovascular system healthy.
To see other cardio exercise ideas, watch this video.
Note: The information in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice. Before starting any type of exercise regimen, your loved one should speak to their doctor.