How to Create an Exercise Routine as a SeniorApril 26, 2023
As people age, it is increasingly important to maintain an active lifestyle. Regular exercise can help seniors improve their balance, flexibility, and overall physical health. However, creating an exercise routine can be challenging for seniors who are unfamiliar with exercise or have health conditions that limit their mobility. For some tips on how to create an exercise routine as a senior, continue reading.
How much physical activity should I get each week?
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week. The large number may seem overwhelming at first glance, but it actually comes down to only about 30 minutes a day.
Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can be achieved without hitting the gym. A brisk walk or dancing along to your favorite music at home for 30 minutes will serve you just as well! Before you hit the gym or pull up an exercise video, make sure you take the proper steps to create a healthy exercise routine.
How to create an exercise routine as a senior?
Consult with your healthcare provider
Before making any change to your health—be it through exercise or diet— it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. They can help you determine what type of exercise is safe for you based on your health conditions and any medications you are taking. Some doctors may even be able to help you set an easy-to-follow regimen.
Start slow and gradually increase intensity
The worst mistake many make when starting a new exercise regimen is jumping into high intensity exercise immediately. This one of the easiest ways to injure oneself. Instead, start off your regimen with light exercise that you gradually increase the duration and intensity of over time. Your exercise will be safer and more efficient.
Incorporate a variety of exercises
As the saying goes: variety is the spice of life. Incorporating a variety of exercises into your routine will help you work different muscle groups and prevent boredom. Your regimen should include a mix of strength training, stretching, balance exercises, and aerobic exercise. Alternate which area you’re targeting on a daily basis to allow certain muscles to rest.
Use proper form
Another way seniors accidentally hurt themselves is not using proper form as they exercise. Using proper form during exercise can help prevent injury and ensure that you are working the intended muscle groups. Consider working with a personal trainer or physical therapist to ensure that you are doing each exercise correctly.
Listen to your body
You may be inclined to push through any discomfort or pain, but this is a mistake. Exercise should not be painful. Overexertion can lead to injury, so it is important to exercise at a comfortable level. If you experience any sort of pain while exercising, listen to your body and stop.
Make exercise a habit
Choosing a day to start exercise is easy, but keeping up with that exercise is another thing. Consistency is key when it comes to exercise. To make exercise a habit, schedule regular workouts into your weekly routine. This will help you stay motivated.
Find an exercise partner
Exercising with a friend or family member can help keep you motivated and make exercise more enjoyable. If you have loved one who is also looking to start an exercise journey, invite them to join you. Your home caregiver can also help you stay active by joining you for walks and encouraging you to keep up the good work
What are the benefits of regular exercise?
As you start to incorporate more exercise into your daily schedule, you will quickly feel a difference in your overall health. Some of the benefits of regular exercise include:
- Improved balance. Exercise improves your core and leg strength, which are important to preventing falls. Those who exercise regularly are less likely to experience falls by 23%.
- Increased energy levels. While you may feel tired immediately after an exercise regimen, exercising actually increased your overall energy levels. This is due to the release of endorphins exercise causes.
- Improved brain function. A healthy body helps promote a healthy mind. According to research, regular exercise may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by roughly 50%. It also has been shown to improve one’s overall mood.
- Prevents disease. Certain symptoms of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression, can be counteracted through regular exercise.
While exercising, make sure you are taking the steps to stay safe at every point in the process. Remember to warm up before exercising and to cool down afterwards to protect your muscles. When exercising outdoors, pay attention to your surroundings and wear the proper shoes to avoid the risk of fall. Finally, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.
Creating healthy habits with home care
In conclusion, creating an exercise routine as a senior can be challenging, but it is important for maintaining physical health and overall well-being. Once you consult with your healthcare provider, you can create an exercise routine that is safe, effective, and enjoyable.
For all the other activities you require assistance with, Home Care Powered by AUAF is here to help. Our team of trained caregivers can provide personalized support to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. We offer a range of services, including personal care, meal preparation, medication reminders, and transportation, to help seniors live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
Don’t let physical limitations or chronic conditions keep you from living your best life. Contact us at 773-274-9262 to learn more about how our caregivers can provide the support you need to stay active and healthy in your golden years.
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