National Senior Health & Fitness Day is May 30. The common goal for this day is to help keep older Americans healthy and fit, and there are simple ways anyone can move and improve at any age. Here are a few easy ways to move and improve at any age and ability.
Exercise helps relieve stress, strengthens muscles, and even helps manage high blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions. And, staying active is just as important for caregivers as it is for those under their care. With the challenging roles they fill, staying happy and healthy makes them better caregivers. A regular exercise program is more effective when seniors and caregivers also follow healthy eating habits, stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep, and find ways to manage stress.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days to meet the recommendation for most adults. Examples of moderate activities that caregivers and their loved ones can enjoy together include walking, bicycling, gardening, and water exercises.
Setting and working toward goals together can be motivating and rewarding. An example is teaming up to participate in a community event, such as a 1-mile walk or even a 5K. A senior can begin with short walks, journaling her progress while reaching small, manageable goals along the way.
Seniors with limited mobility can do a variety of exercises while seated, including yoga movements, resistance band exercises and handling light weights.
Another important exercise as we get older is to practice Kegels. Kegels, which help individuals better manage incontinence by strengthening the pelvic muscles that control urine flow, can be done discreetly anytime, anywhere.
It’s important to consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. A senior may be reluctant to discuss medical problems with family members for fear of loss of independence, so it’s important to encourage a loved one to be honest with a doctor.
The 25th annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 30th is one of the nation’s largest health promotions for older adults. Recognizing the important of staying active, organized fitness events for older adults will take place at more than 1,000 locations, including senior centers, hospitals, parks, churches and other community locations. Visit FitnessDay.com for more information.
(This guest post by Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant and Registered Dietitian, originally appeared on the CareGiver Partnership blog.)
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.