Owners' Blog

What Does Your Senior Need to Know about Sticking with an Exercise Plan?

By HIlary and Greg Eldridge

Starting an exercise plan isn't always the difficult part. For some people, sticking with it is the more difficult thing to do. If that's true for your senior, these tips might help.

She Needs to Listen to Her Body

There's a lot to factor in when your senior starts a new exercise routine. Her doctor should clear her for exercise and then she needs to start slowly and ramp up her routine. The key to all of that is that she needs to really listen to her body. She may experience some muscle soreness at first, but actual pain should not be a part of the process. That old saying about "no pain, no gain" is a fallacy.

She Needs to Do Activities that Are Safe for Her

If your senior has joint issues, osteoporosis, balance problems, or any other health conditions, then the activities that she does for exercise should be safe for her. Talk with your elderly family member's doctor about what exercises are likely to be best for her so that she's not making choices that are likely to bring her pain or worse, injury. If she starts a particular exercise, like yoga, and finds that it's too much for her, then switching to something else is a good idea.

Weight-bearing Exercise Is Good, High Impact Might Not Be

Weight-bearing exercises are exercises that cause your senior's body to bear her weight in some way. She's working against gravity in order to move her body. These exercises strengthen her bones and her muscles, which is good. High impact exercise, on the other hand, like jogging, can be jarring to joints and bones. Avoiding high impact exercises is a way to also avoid injury.

Physical Therapy or a Trainer Can Help

It can be really helpful for your senior to work with a physical therapist or a personal trainer, especially if your senior hasn't worked out in a really long time. While some of these types of experts can come to your senior's home to work with her, many others don't travel to meet clients. Often those appointments are during the day, too, which might be difficult for you to help her get to, especially if she doesn't drive. Home care providers can solve that problem for both of you and make sure that your senior gets to those appointments safely.

Once your elderly family member experiences the benefits of exercising regularly, it's going to be a lot easier for her to stick with the program. If she's not enjoying the exercise that she's doing, there are lots of other options out there for her to keep moving in a way that she does enjoy. Home care providers can support your senior loved one's exercise plan by encouraging him or her to work out as much as their doctor has advised, and support them as they do so.

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