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5 Fun Spring Exercises for the Elderly

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Seniors who stay physically active often feel and look better than those who lead sedentary lifestyles. Exercise helps prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. If your loved one has any of these medical conditions, he or she may have limited mobility and require assistance with daily tasks. A Nashville caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns.

Physical activity has also been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis. Whatever exercise regimen your loved one adopts, the program should offer a combination of cardio, flexibility, and strength and balance training. 

1. Swimming

Exercising in water provides enough resistance to muscles and joints without adding undue stress because of the buoyancy of the water. Swimming offers cardiovascular exercise and also increases general endurance and flexibility. Moving through the water stretches and strengthens the large muscle groups in the arms, shoulders, back, and legs. Using different strokes while swimming also engages different muscles. 

2. Water Aerobics

This low-impact workout offers cardiovascular benefits and strength training. The routines performed during a water aerobics workout benefit the muscles throughout the body. Because the activity is performed in shallow water, non-swimmers can also participate. Common water aerobics exercises include walking or jogging back and forth in the pool, flutter kicking while holding onto the side of the pool, standing pushups, and arm curls. Your loved one may find senior water aerobics classes for free or at a reduced cost in his or her area. 

3. Yoga

The different poses in senior yoga are designed to enhance overall endurance, strengthen muscles and joints, and increase balance. If an outdoor class is not available, going to a fitness center is worth the time to get your loved one back into shape. Beginner yoga classes are a good alternative if there there aren’t any yoga classes in the area that are specifically designed for seniors. If your loved one cannot go out regularly for a class or prefers to stay indoors, get a beginner’s yoga DVD that the entire family can follow in the privacy of the home. 

Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional senior care Nashville seniors can trust and rely on.

4. Tai Chi

This exercise can put participants in a calm, relaxed state while they make slow fluid movements from one pose to the next. This is a low-impact activity that can increase balance, flexibility, and strength. Because tai chi is gentle on joints, it is ideal for seniors with back, hip, knee, or ankle problems. It can also benefit overweight seniors. Your loved one does not need special equipment or clothing to do tai chi. Classes are often held in city parks, recreation centers, fitness, or tai chi studios. Senior community centers or extended care facilities might also offer classes.

5. Low-Impact Sports 

Many backyard games offer seniors the chance to enjoy fresh air and sunshine while engaging in basic physical activity. For example, horseshoes and crochet require the use of arm and upper body movements and also the ability to walk from one location to the next. Even a simple game of catch can increase your loved one’s hand-eye coordination while enhancing arm and upper body strength. 

Encourage your loved one to try these exercises so he or she can stay active and independent for longer. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from hiring a live-in home caregiver. Nashville, TN, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call (615) 656-4999 to speak to a Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.