Staying Active

The Benefit of Physical Activity

Everywhere you look these days you can find information on the benefits of physical activity. Here are a few.

* Better cardiovascular health – A healthy heart will serve you throughout your life. Increased oxygenation through exercise can help lower blood pressure, heart rate and the results of stress in the body.

* Lose weight – We all like this one. Exercise can help with maintaining a healthy weight now and in the future. A healthy weight lowers the incidence of diabetes, metabolic disorders, stroke and high cholesterol.

* Increased muscle tone – As we age, we begin to lose muscle mass. Muscle burns more than fat and also helps us to maintain balance and a strong core.

Helping an Elderly Person to Stay Active

Here is some more information that can help you do this.

* Get involved – Many people don’t know what to do to get physically active. Just telling them to get moving isn’t going to solve that problem. If you care about this person, join them in some activity. Go for a walk at their pace. As they feel comfortable, they may step up to other activities.

* Talk about the benefits – We have listed some above. This can motivate them to get involved at a senior center or even to go for a little jaunt with you when you ask.

* Try low impact activities – Do they swim? Swimming is a fun activity that can be done all year round. There are water aerobics senior classes at the local YMCA. If they are not for that, then they could swim a few laps or just enjoy moving their body effortlessly in the water. Swimming works the entire body without putting pressure on the joints.

* Give them a pet – Pets are good for elderly people in more than one way. It offers them companionship. Dogs especially are loyal and loving. They also need to be walked, which is one way to exercise them and their owner. Meeting up with other seniors who own pets can lead to group walks.

* Find active interests – Most people like to do more besides watching television. How about gardening? It is considered a form of physical activity. An elderly can do it kneeling if they have balance problems.

* Applaud progress – Everyone wants to hear praise for their efforts. With each walk that the elderly person in your life completes, tell them that you are proud of their success.