Easy Tips for Moving and Improving at Any Age

by Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant and Registered Dietitian

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.

Moderately active

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.

Limited mobility

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.

Dianna Malkowski is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support. She serves on the board of professional advisors for The CareGiver Partnership and enjoys working with patients and caregivers alike. Ask Dianna a question, or call 1-800-985-1353 for Personalized AttentionSM from a product specialist.

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit http://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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