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6 Ways Older Adults Who Are Sedentary Can Get Some Exercise

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Leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause a wide variety of health issues. According to a study by John Hopkins Medicine, physical inactivity increases the risk of depression, anxiety, heart attacks, strokes, coronary heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Here are a few ways sedentary seniors can get some exercise.

 1. Start Small

If your senior loved one has been sedentary, jumping into a fitness program could be discouraging at first. While the ultimate goal is to get between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise per day, it’s okay to break this number up in 10-minute increments. Your loved one can start small with a 10-minute walk in the morning, taking another 10-minute walk after lunch, and finishing the day with a 10 to 15-minute yoga session.

Aging adults who need help with exercise can benefit from professional in-home care. Fort Myers home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

2. Get NEAT

The term NEAT stands for “non-exercise activity thermogenesis.” If your loved one sits most of the day, aiming for 10 minutes of NEAT activities per hour is a great way to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Some NEAT activities include bending, stretching, twisting at the waist, and turning.

3. Engage in an Enjoyable Activity

Exercise shouldn’t be a dreaded activity. If your loved one doesn’t enjoy traditional aerobic activities, find something he or she does enjoy. Dancing, swimming, hiking, and gardening are all fun ways to get exercise.

4. Find an Exercise Buddy

Exercising with a friend offers a chance to socialize. Most senior centers and community recreation centers offer group classes or walking clubs at a variety of levels. Joining a group exercise class is a good way to get some physical activity and socialize with others.

Attending group exercise classes is not the only way for seniors to socialize. For families living in Fort Myers, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

5. Look into Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Many seniors with arthritis become sedentary due to painful joints, but a sedentary lifestyle can worsen arthritis symptoms. A 2005 study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism found that men and women who had arthritis and led a sedentary lifestyle slowly lost the ability to perform daily tasks. If your loved one has arthritis, look into physical therapy. A physical therapist can help your loved one gain flexibility and strength through activities that won’t put too much pressure on the joints.

6. Try to Complete 10,000 Steps Per Day

Getting 10,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of five miles, can tone the muscles and strengthen the heart. A pedometer or fitness bracelet is a simple way to keep track of steps and encourage your loved one to continually move. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can increase your loved one’s strength and stamina.

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance Fort Myers to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To talk to one of our professional Care Managers, give us a call at 239.449.4701 today.