Seniors and exercise: What we could learn

I was on my daily walk the other day and I saw an elderly woman on a riding mower cutting her grass. 

The next day I walked by and I saw her climbing a ladder to change a light bulb on her porch. As I continued walking I began to feel bad for her, thinking that she should have her kids or grand kids helping her out, “that poor woman” I thought. But after a few minutes I began to think about the situation differently. I thought, “that woman is able to continue doing those things because she stays active”. If she were to let someone else do these things for her she would be miserable. Its true what they say that a body in motion stays in motion, that’s why exercise is so important, especially among the senior population.

Seniors exercising

Seniors exercising

If you were to visit the majority of senior communities or elderly homes you will find that there are all sorts of activities to keep the residents active and in motion. Its a scientific fact that a stagnant body starts to decay (and I’m talking about live bodies here people not dead ones). If the human body is in a stagnant state for prolonged periods of time it (the body) begins to lose muscle mass, the organs begin to work less effectively, the body begins to either gain or lose too much weight, both of which are not healthy.

I’m sure that the majority of you reading this know an elderly person that you care about and are wondering what are some great ways to get them into an active and healthy lifestyle, well you came to the right place. Like I’ve said before , first and foremost get them on a heart healthy diet, because without a healthy heart most exercise of any kind is almost impossible to do.

There are lots of different types of exercises and activities that elderly people of any age can do. The most common or popular one is walking, it keeps the heart rate up, and it keeps their entire bodies in motion. They can walk around their neighborhood, if they (or you) don’t feel that the neighborhood is safe then go to the local mall, and if possible they should have a walking buddy, there’s safety in numbers plus its always nice to walk with a friend. If you feel walking is maybe too strenuous for your loved one they might try swimming, it benefits the body the same way walking does but its a lot easier on the joints (especially arthritic ones). The local Y.M.C.A. usually has a pool (if you or your loved one do not have one of your own) that, for a small fee, can be used as often as necessary. Swimming is also very good for those elderly that may be unable to walk for long periods of time. If walking or swimming is out of the question or they want to start off slow then I would suggest investing in a Wii console, there are a variety of games, such as bowling, tennis, running, skiing, etc. that any senior might find not only active but fun as well.

Let me end with this. As long as we stay active, regardless of age, we will feel a million times better and hopefully live longer healthier lives.

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