Aging impacts all systems in the human body including circulatory, digestive, nervous, immune, support (bones and muscles), and metabolism. However, studies show time and time again that exercise provides many health benefits and that older adults can gain a lot by staying physically active. Therefore, incorporating fitness into a wellness regime is an essential component that may prevent further decline.
The four components of a senior fitness routine should include exercises that benefit the cardiovascular system for endurance, weight training for strength and muscle quality, balance to prevent falls, and stretching for flexibility. Here are a few tips for how seniors can safely perform these types of exercises, presented by Home Care Assistance of Vancouver.
- Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise for seniors and older adults
- Some medications may affect how your body adapts to exercise
- Pay attention to warning signs such as pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue
- Do not exercise if you are not feeling well
- Start slowly, pace yourself, and drink plenty of water
- Warm up your body for 5 to 10 minutes
- Start with a weight that you can easily do for fifteen repetitions
- Watch posture, maintain an upright position, and make movements deliberate
- Do not hold your breath and relax your grip
- Check the surroundings for loose objects, uneven flooring, or slippery surfaces
- Take extra precautions if the activity is outdoors
- Use a support or assistive device such as a solid chair, table, wall, or a walker
- Make sure the area is well lit
- Do not stretch to the point of pain
- Do not bounce
- Avoid areas of injury, that have been immobilized, or where there is inflammation
- Hold stretches for at least 30 seconds
Seniors choosing a proactive approach to their health after a hiatus and for those who have suffered an injury, certain precautions are warranted in order to accommodate the transition. Consult with a medical practitioner prior to beginning any exercise.
Interested in learning more about senior fitness? Reach out to the in-home care experts at Home Care Assistance of Vancouver. Our highly trained and compassionate caregivers offer hourly and 24 hour care in Vancouver and can assist with physical fitness exercises to ensure safety and can also help with daily tasks such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation and so much more. For more information, reach out to a Case Manager today at 778-279-3634.