Are There Really Safe Exercises for Older Adults?
It’s no problem at all for us to get plenty of exercise while we’re young; physical activity is just a natural part of our hectic, daily lives. As we grow older, however, it’s not uncommon for the pace of life to slow down, sometimes quite dramatically; and there are many people who assume that with aging comes a reduced need for physical activity, or maybe even that exercise could be dangerous for frail, older seniors.
The good news, however, is that these assumptions are completely false. Studies have shown that routine exercise offers both physical and psychological benefits for older adults, and that even just a small amount of exercise can go a long way. The Office of Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shares that an exercise plan can:
- Lower the level of disability in older adults
- Improve muscle strength and endurance, preventing the deterioration that can come with age and reduced activity
- Enhance flexibility and range of motion
- Improve bone mass that’s been weakened by osteoporosis
- Increase the respiratory system’s efficiency
- Relieve some arthritis symptoms
- Enhance self-esteem and independence
- Improve cognitive functioning
- Reduce tension and anxiety, and combat depression
It’s vitally important to always first check with the older adult’s physician prior to starting any exercise program, and to get in touch with him or her right away if any of the following symptoms are noticed during or after exercising:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Balance difficulties
- Difficulty breathing or excessive shortness of breath
- Light-headedness or dizziness
Also be sure to check with the doctor if any discomfort or pain persists after exercising.
At Home & Hearth Caregivers, we’re aware of the tremendous benefits of physical activity for older adults, and work together with seniors’ doctors to establish appropriate exercise programs for those in our care. Interested in learning more details on how we can help your senior loved one in Hinsdale and the surrounding areas? Contact us today.