Spring is here! With the weather changing, the sun coming out, and the flowers blooming it is time for us to get active! As individuals get older, it only becomes more important to maintain an active lifestyle. Staying active doesn’t necessarily mean working out or hitting the gym, though. There are a variety of ways that seniors can maintain an active lifestyle while enjoying a fun activity.
Importance of staying active
As we all know, COVID-19 has placed everyone, including those in senior living, such as assisted living, memory care, or post-acute care into quarantine for their safety. A concern that comes along with that is the harmful effects that a sedentary lifestyle will have on the bones and muscles of the seniors who are not being placed into positions where they are naturally getting the exercise they need to prevent decline.
Physical activity and exercise is good for you. There are so many wonderful benefits that come with staying active. Being active not only helps you physically but also mentally, and can be seen as a big stress reliever. Here are just some of the benefits of exercise:
- Increased balance and stability
- Prevention of disease or chronic conditions
- Improved healing and function
- Social engagement
- Improved cognitive function
- Improved quality of life and increased life expectancy
Fitness ideas for seniors
Walking is a great way for seniors to have low impact exercise that is mobile active. There are a tremendous amount of health benefits including, a stronger immune system, improved cardiovascular health, strong bones, muscles, and joints, improved mood, better sleep, and greater longevity.
Improved balance for a senior or loved one is a big way to help minimize their risk of a severe fall. Falling is one of the most dangerous and common hazards for older adults. There are tons of ways to improve your balance both indoors and outside including leg raises, toe stands, and core stretches.
There’s so much to love about dancing! Play some music and encourage your loved one or resident to dance and show off their moves. Dancing is a great aerobic exercise that helps to activate multiple parts of your body. You’re able to stretch your muscles, build strength, and increase flexibility.
Yoga and Tai Chi
Yoga and Tai Chi can offer many different health benefits for seniors. This type of exercise is low impact and can help work many different muscles and joints at once, improve flexibility, balance, and strength in one routine. Yoga and Tai chi have also been proven to reduce stress, and boost people’s moods and energy.
Keeping our residents active!
Regular exercise can result in significant improvements to cardiovascular health, endurance, and muscle strength. It not only helps stave off diabetes and heart disease but also prevents the body from being susceptible to certain muscle and joint injuries. Exercise has a positive effect on emotional and mental health, especially for those who may suffer from depression or anxiety. Many activities that incorporate meditation also improve mental function. Here are some activities that promote physical, intellectual, and social well-being:
- Chair exercises and stretching.
- Yoga and Tai Chi.
- Walking on a treadmill or outside.
Our communities are proud to have been adapting and acting decisively to ensure that all the people in our care are remaining active and steadfast on their fitness journey to remain in optimal health. Whether through virtual wellness classes, one-on-one exercises from the safety of the resident’s room such as Feel the Beat Fitness, or individually scheduled walks or outings around the community and our secure courtyards, we have made sure that the seniors continue to keep it moving even during the pandemic. Now that we have many of our residents and staff vaccinated we are able to do even more to keep our residents active.
At Spring Hills, we understand the importance of exercise for seniors and have done everything we can to continue to implement safe programs for them to remain active so they can live happy.