No matter what age anyone is, the importance of staying active applies to everyone.
Staying active is a multi-beneficial activity. Not only does it help physically, but it’s also been proven to help with emotional, mental, and social health. It truly provides a whole-body benefit.
According to health.gov, staying active can with 30 minutes of exercise a day can:
- Improve mental health
- Boost self-confidence
- Lower health risks, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer
- Improve strength and balance, preventing balance issues and falls
- Stimulate brain activity, making decision making and processing information easier
But you might be wondering how to encourage your aging parent to take a step toward a more active lifestyle. With the help and encouragement of your senior care professional, sit down and talk with your aging parent about setting up some steps to get more active.
1. Take a visit to your parent’s doctor to see if there are any limitations or guidelines your parent should follow as you begin. If your parent has a health problem like heart disease or obesity, her doctor can help you plan out a good strategy that will keep your parent safe. Make sure to relay this information to your parent’s senior care provider so she can also be on ‘Team Get Healthy,” and help ensure your parent stays safe during activities. (If you don’t have a senior care professional in your parent’s life yet, this might be a great time to hire someone to help with improving your parent’s quality of life through activity.)
2. Talk to your parent about what she likes to do (or what she liked to do in her younger years). Does she like walking the dog? Going bird watching? Swimming? Golfing? For most activities, you can find ways to make them enjoyable again to your parent
3. Start small. There’s no need to have your parent complete an 18-hole golf course on her first activity outing. Maybe try a driving range or a mini-golf course. Instead of hiking out for several hours into the woods to find birds to watch, drive to bird sanctuary that has viewing areas not too far away from the parking lot. Even just 5-10 minutes at a time is an improvement over not doing anything. The goal is to work up to 30 minutes at a time of aerobic activities (things that will increase your parent’s heartbeat). So, starting simply, such as simply walking down a long driveway to pick up the mail, can be beneficial. A senior care professional would be more than happy to help your parent start with these small steps if your time is limited.
4. Don’t forget about muscle-strengthening activities and balance activities. Both of these activities also help your parent’s quality of life. Both can also easily be done in the home, with a senior care professional standing nearby to make sure your parent stays safe and completes her activity.
Getting started is always the hardest part, but once you get your parent moving again, she might find she doesn’t want to stop and will keep working on her health by staying physically active.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Fairfax County, VA, please contact the caring staff at LivinRite Home Care.
Call Us Today at (703) 634-9991.
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