The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that older adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to convince your aging relative to get up and get moving. They may not relish the idea of getting sweaty, be intimidated by the idea of exercising, or simply not enjoy it. However, there are ways you can help your older family member to get motivated.
Below are some ideas for motivating seniors to exercise.
Set a Goal
Help your aging relative to identify a goal they can reach by getting more exercise. For example, perhaps the senior currently has trouble walking around the block without getting tired. They might set their first goal as: “I want to walk around the block without feeling tired or winded.” Assist them to check their progress toward their goal periodically. Once they meet the goal, set a new one.
Elder care providers can help seniors to identify their goal and write it down. They can also assist in checking goal progress.
Make Exercise Part of the Routine
Incorporating exercise as part of the older adult’s daily routine can help make it a habit. Setting a regular time for exercise can help to put the senior on autopilot and prompt them to do it. It can also help to create a routine around exercising, such as having breakfast, getting dressed, going for a walk, then coming home and sitting down to read for a while.
An elder care provider can assist the older adult to stick to their routine, making it more likely that they will continue to exercise routinely.
Add Exercise in Small Increments
Every minute of physical activity counts toward the 150-minute weekly goal. If the idea of exercise is overwhelming or unappealing to your older family member, try getting them to exercise for just a few minutes at a time several times each day. One way to do that is to have them move during every commercial break when they are watching television. They could get up and march in place, lift weights, or dance around the living room until the show starts again.
An elder care provider can encourage the senior to engage in short bursts of exercise by inviting them to dance or doing the activity with them.
Get an Exercise Buddy
Having a friend to exercise with can make it much more enjoyable. Your aging relative’s exercise buddy could be a neighbor, another senior in their community, a family caregiver, or even a dog they enjoy walking with. The idea is to have someone exercise with that makes them look forward to that time.
An elder care provider can be the older adult’s exercise buddy by going for a walk with them. They also get the added benefit of having someone with them to prevent falls and keep them safe.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care Services in Longwood FL, please contact the caring staff at Flourish in Place Home Care Solutions today. Proudly serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard Counties. Call 407-845-9797.