In recognition of National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 27, here are a few easy ways to move and improve at any age and ability.
National Senior Health & Fitness Day is May 27, and this year’s theme is “If You Keep Moving ... You’ll Keep Improving!” 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.
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. 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. Read more: Are You Too Young to Do Kegels?
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 22nd annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 27 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.
For further reading, see our collection of caregiver health tips and daily affirmations on Pinterest.
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