One of the most important tips for a senior to maintain the best health possible is to stay active and connected. While both of these issues could be discussed individually, they are often directly related. Exercise and activities are frequently done in group settings.
Staying active is vital for a senior’s physical, emotional, and mental health. The physical benefits for seniors who stay active are extraordinary. Regular exercise and activity actually increases the level of energy for individuals and promotes a more positive outlook on life.
Staying active may include social settings, volunteering, developing interests, or exercising. Many people fear or dread the word exercise; however, for our purpose, we will define exercise as any movement or activity that promotes staying healthy. Regular exercise has been proven beneficial to people with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and much more. As always, before starting any new exercise, a doctor should be consulted.
Despite physical limitations, it is important for a person to stay active and connected to family, friends, and their community. Many seniors start to withdraw and avoid outings for several reasons. For example, some may be experiencing pain or illness which they do not want to admit or deal with, or they may be dealing with fear or embarrassment due to incontinence. Whether dealing with mobility issues, pain from arthritis, fear and embarrassment from incontinence, or another issue, it is important to deal with these issues and not allow them to become barriers that lead to isolation and limited activity.
Depending on the senior’s interests and fitness level, there are a variety of possible activities that may be added to a routine. The following is a list of activities or exercises many seniors enjoy:
- Dancing (ballroom dancing, line dancing, or tap dancing)
- Joining a club
- Taking a class at a church or community college
It is important for friends and family, or a caregiver to remember to encourage seniors to get active without being demanding or irritating. Educating your loved one about the benefits of adding a new activity into their routine and inform them about opportunities in their area is also helpful.