It can be hard to put on your running shoes every morning, or to get yourself to the gym after work. If you’re a caregiver for a senior with Alzheimer’s, you know it’s even harder to make sure your loved one is getting the appropriate amount of exercise.
Fitness is important for people of all ages, and it’s especially crucial for maintaining the mobility, balance, and endurance of seniors. Any kind of sustained movement counts, from gardening to dancing, but simple, repetitive motions are often best for adults with memory loss.
Here are three safe and easy ways to keep your loved ones active:
- Walking: It doesn’t get simpler than a casual stroll, whether outdoors with a family member or supervised on a treadmill. Plus, walking is a low-impact exercise that’s recommended by the American Heart Association for improving blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, bone strength, mood, and stamina.
- Exercise Videos: You can find exercise videos tailored to seniors online or at your local library. Join in or put on some music to make the activity more fun. It may help to break the video into shorter segments and do them at different times throughout the day.
- Weights: Many people assume that weight training is unsafe or even damaging for older adults. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Gentle strength-building exercises can help seniors improve bone density and reduce the risk of falls. But it’s a good idea to take it slowly, and be sure to have someone spotting when weights are in use.
Every exercise should be supervised for safety. Remember to be alert to any signs of discomfort, so you can stop the exercise immediately in the event of an injury. It’s always a good idea to consult your senior’s doctor about any changes in physical activity. Make sure your senior is dressed properly for a workout, with supportive shoes and comfortable clothing, and take regular hydration breaks.
At The Cabana, we offer a wide array of fitness and activity classes, all designed with seniors in mind. Our on-site rehabilitation clinic also provides physical therapy to our residents. To learn more about our focus on wellness, give us a call at (772) 332-1000. We look forward to hearing from you!