Owners' Blog

Can Senior Care Help Older Adults Get More Exercise?

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

How much exercise would you guess your older family member gets each week? If the answer is “not much,” you should know that’s not an uncommon answer. A recent report from researchers at the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics states that 75 percent of Americans fall short of getting the recommended amount of exercise. That’s not good. If your aging relative is spending more time sitting in front of the television than they should be, one way you can help them to get up and get moving is by hiring senior care. Wondering why exercise is so important and how senior care can help? Keep reading to find out.


The Importance of Exercise

A lot of people slow down as they get older. They may develop health conditions that make moving around more difficult. Or, they may worry about falling or injuring themselves. However, living a sedentary lifestyle is definitely not safer than being active. Exercise has all sorts of health benefits, including:

  • Maintaining or achieving a healthy weight.
  • Stronger immune system.
  • Better mobility.
  • Reduced risk of falls.
  • Improved sleep.
  • Better brain health.

Exercise can even help improve the symptoms of some chronic diseases. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help with:

  • Heart disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Asthma.
  • Back pain.
  • Arthritis.

How Much is Enough?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that any amount of physical activity is better than not doing any. However, for the best health benefits, adults should try to exercise at least 2.5 hours per week. Of course, that block of time can and should be broken down into shorter intervals. Older adults should strive for about 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days per week.

Exercise should include aerobic exercise as well as strengthening exercises. Aerobic exercise is the kind that gets the heart pumping and makes the older adult breathe a little harder. It should be done in blocks of at least 10 minutes and should be spread throughout the week. Strengthening exercises should be done at least twice per week.

Ways Senior Care Can Keep Older Adults Active

Senior care providers can be just the boost elderly people need to increase activity. Senior care providers can offer the moral support older adults who are afraid of falling may need. Having someone nearby can make them fear a fall less, making them more likely to be physically active. Senior care providers can even go for walks with the person. If your aging relative prefers structured exercise classes, a senior care provider can drive them to the gym to join friends in taking a class.

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20180628/just-1-in-4-americans-gets-enough-exercise#1

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/exercise-and-fitness-as-you-age.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/policies_practices/physical_activity/guidelines.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-and-chronic-disease/art-20046049

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Lawrenceville, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.