Community Blog

Four Reasons Activity is so Vital For the Elderly

By Vicki and Brian Day

Everyone around you says it's important to keep your dad active. He's aging and has a harder time walking around. While it's tempting to let him stop being so active, he needs to do just the opposite. Staying active is key to staying healthy. Here's why.

Aids the Circulatory System

When your dad is active, his heart will pump faster. It circulates oxygen and nutrients through the blood to the other organs. With each beat of the heart, the muscle contracts and expands and that helps strengthen the muscle. This can help lower the risk of heart disease.

The activity your dad chooses should increase his heart rate. If he lives in an area where it's not safe for him to walk due to traffic, crime, or animal attacks, a treadmill or exercise bike will help. If he has a covered patio or deck, the equipment could be set up outside to ensure he gets fresh air.

Boosts the Immune System

Regular exercise and a healthy diet do a lot to help boost the immune system. This is good news considering immune response slows down as you age. Exercise increases the core body temperature that can help your body fight infections. It also slows down certain hormones that can make it easier to pick up illnesses like the common cold.

Helps Keep Depression Away

Fresh air and exercise help with depression and feelings of isolation. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good. A long walk can also help you change your frame of mind and forget about your troubles. If your dad is home alone, while he's out walking he might bump into neighbors and enjoy socialization, too.

Improves Balance Skills and Muscle Strength

Regular activity, such as a brisk walk or yoga routine, helps with balance and muscle strength. Muscles weaken with age. Cells take longer to regenerate and that impacts the body. To make sure a senior has as much strength as possible, it's recommended that 30 minutes of activity occur every day.

Your dad might have to gradually get in shape to remain active for the full 30 minutes. The CDC recommends starting at 5 to 10 minutes and building up from there. It's worth it. Join him for walks around the neighborhood. Hire caregivers to walk with him. Just make sure he's active.


Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/sgr/olderad.htm

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN SLATINGTON, PA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS. CALL TODAY! (610) 365-4266.