If you have elderly parents or loved ones, spring is the perfect time of year to encourage them to get active. It’s not only important for their physical health but it will also boost their mental well-being and improve their social life. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you get older and many seniors lose confidence due to mobility problems. Fortunately, there are many types of exercise that are suitable for those in their golden years. Here’s how to encourage elderly relatives to stay active.
Take a walk together
Take a walk together and bring your children or other family members. This will add a positive sociable aspect to staying active. Your elderly relatives will feel more motivated if exercising is an opportunity to spend time together. You could even suggest that they join walking groups. There are several benefits of Nordic walking for seniors, for example. It’s a chance to explore areas of natural beauty while getting fit and making friends.
Exercise videos designed for seniors
If your relatives aren’t confident exercising outdoors then, don’t worry. There are also plenty of free exercise videos for seniors online. These have been designed by professional trainers to be safe and appropriate for elderly people. There are also fitness apps they can download. If your relatives are a little tech-shy you can give them brief tuition on how to access these videos on electronic devices.
Have safety precautions in place
Elderly people are more at risk of accidents and injury unfortunately and this may be why they don’t feel like exercising. Ensure there are safety precautions in place if they’re going to exercise at home. You could get them a panic button, for example, and clear a large space for them to work out. If they are serious about doing particular sports, have them speak to a personal trainer about how to avoid workout injuries. You can also look into support equipment for their back and joints.
Encourage regular health checks
Many people develop certain health conditions as they get older and this could be the cause of their lack of confidence. Even age-related hearing loss can have a negative effect on their social life, and desire to be outdoors. It’s advisable to encourage them to get regular health checks. This will give you both peace of mind as untreated hearing loss and other conditions can lead to further problems. For instance, dementia & hearing loss really do go hand in hand, so looking after one is going to improve the state of the other.
Let them choose a new activity
Perhaps your elderly relatives are interested in getting active but don’t believe there’s a sport for them. There’s no need for them to run marathons or become crossfit champions. Instead, they could try yoga, tai chi, Nordic walking, swimming, or aqua aerobics. Here are some of the best sports for seniors, to give you inspiration. Do some research into what’s available in their local area and propose a list of suggestions to them. Let them decide which activity to try. Often a new hobby is all you need to get motivated.