Physical activity is crucial to overall wellbeing because it enhances bone health and cognitive health. However, many adults stop exercising in their senior years due to weaker bones and the fear of injuries. Below are some safety tips your aging loved one can use to reduce his or her fear of exercising.
1. Go at an Easy Pace
When exercising, encourage your loved one to go slow and space out each activity. Allow your loved one to take breaks between sessions. Failing to stop and rest could increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. Going too hard in the gym and overworking the muscles can also increase the risk of broken bones and fractures. One of the best ways to avoid exerting too much energy is to set realistic and achievable goals.
Exercising safely is just one of many tasks seniors may need help with. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Amarillo, TX, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
2. Eat Healthy
Many seniors are afraid to eat before exercising because they fear the food will make them sluggish and sleepy. However, when the body gets the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs, metabolism increases and provides more energy while working out, which also lowers the risk of accidents and injuries. Your loved one should only consume healthy calories before exercising, instead of unhealthy foods like cookies, cakes, candies, and sugary beverages.
3. Choose Water-Based Exercises
Low-impact activities like water aerobics are safe for seniors because the buoyancy from the water puts less stress on the body, even for adults with weaker muscles. In the water, seniors can move around with more confidence instead of worrying about falling and breaking their bones. Water also acts as a form of resistance, reducing the need to complete routines using heavy weights. When older adults take up water-based exercises, they’re more likely to remain active due to the safety benefits associated with these activities.
4. Use Supportive Devices
Your loved one may need to lean on a chair or wall when exercising to prevent an accident or injury. Encourage your loved one to use medical devices if he or she has mobility limitations or cognitive issues that affect balance and flexibility. You should also make the activity easier based on your loved one’s skills. For example, if your loved one uses a cane to walk around, find ways to exercise while sitting down. Your loved one can use a chair or bench to avoid falling when working out.
A professional caregiver can provide support for your loved one during exercise to prevent falls. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading homecare provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
5. Stay Hydrated
Aging causes the amount of water in the body to decrease, putting seniors at a higher risk of dehydration. Proper hydration is necessary to lubricate the joints and regulate body temperature. Your loved one should drink plenty of liquids before, during, and after a workout and consume healthy foods that contain water, such as cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, and apples. Staying hydrated reduces the risk of fainting or falling while exercising.
Don’t forget you need to set aside time for exercise as well. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Amarillo families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Give us a call today at (806) 803-9991 to learn more.