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Exercise Guidelines for Seniors

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Getting older shouldn’t discourage seniors from engaging in physical activity. In fact, as seniors age, physical activity can help them stay flexible and healthy. Aging adults living with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can lessen the health impacts of those diseases by getting regular physical activity.

Definition of Physical Activity

Physical activity is anything an individual does that causes him or her to move, burn calories, and build muscle. “Increase your physical activity” is a phrase commonly used when trying to encourage people to get fit. Exercise is one definition of physical activity, but many people understand the term “exercise” to mean planned physical activity that usually involves specific movements or equipment. When some people hear “exercise,” they assume they need a gym membership.

Examples of Physical Activity

Being physically active doesn’t require a strict regimen, gym membership, or special ability. For example, vacuuming the house each week not only makes the air quality in a home better, but it’s also a calorie-burning physical activity. Walking is good for the heart and can lower blood sugar, but it only requires a safe place to walk and a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes. Playing outside with grandchildren, gardening, and raking leaves are all types of physical activity.

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s ability to exercise safely, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide assistance. Rocklin elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Recommended Amounts of Physical Activity for Older Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend older adults get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorously intense physical activity each week. Regardless of the intensity of the activity, working out in short increments can provide health benefits.

An older adult can walk for 15 minutes twice a day at a moderate pace for five out of seven days and meet the 150-minute recommendation. Physical activity that raises the heart rate offers greater health benefits. Any amount of physical activity is better than doing nothing, so walking for 10 minutes most days of the week may be a good goal for beginners. Before starting a physical activity regimen, older adults should check with their healthcare providers.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, a professional caregiver can take over for you. Rocklin respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Intensity Levels

Ballroom dancing, sweeping a floor, walking briskly, shooting a basketball, dancing, gardening, doing water aerobics, playing doubles tennis, and walking and carrying clubs while playing golf are all examples of moderate physical activity. When engaging in moderate physical activity, an individual should be able to talk without taking a breath but wouldn’t be able to sing. Vigorous physical activity includes aerobic dancing, jogging, racewalking, running, swimming laps, and playing singles tennis. During vigorous physical activity, an individual can say no more than a few words without taking a breath.

Seniors who need assistance setting up and following a safe exercise plan can benefit from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.