Older adults must exercise to maintain their health. However, seniors who have been sedentary may find it challenging to get motivated to exercise. These seven tips will have your senior loved one ready to work out and live a happier, healthier life.
1. Start with a Trip to the Doctor
Some seniors stop exercising due to health problems that make it difficult to work out without pain, such as arthritis. Your loved one may also have issues that make certain types of exercise dangerous due to the possibility of overexerting him or herself or making an old injury worse. Talking to the doctor first gives seniors confidence that they’re doing a workout that’s safe for their current condition.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Tucson families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. Set Achievable Goals
Your loved one may be past the point of trying to exercise to look amazing in a swimsuit, or he or she may still care about his or her physical appearance. Either way, setting realistic goals is a great way to get your loved one motivated. Ask what he or she thinks is a sign of good health. Whether it’s losing five pounds or being able to go down a pants size, you can use this to set goals to work toward. You can also use simpler goals, such as walking for a certain amount of minutes each day.
3. Implement a Healthy Reward System
People sometimes try to reward themselves for exercise with food, but this is counterproductive. Instead, help your loved one identify a few rewards he or she really wants. For instance, your loved one could get a new pair of walking shoes if he or she meets the goal for the week.
4. Use Visual Images for Motivation
Even with goals, it’s easy to forget why exercise is important. Try posting a picture of your loved one’s grandchild near where he or she works out as a reminder to stay spry enough to play with the most beloved members of the family.
5. Explore Fun Types of Exercise
Trudging along on a treadmill might not be your loved one’s idea of a fun way to spend the day. However, he or she may get excited about going for a walk outside. Seniors may also prefer dancing over trying to run. If your loved one hates sweating, swimming is an enjoyable activity to explore.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
6. Make Working Out a Social Activity
Once again, riding a bicycle or doing leg lifts alone is just plain boring. Your loved one may be more eager to exercise when he or she knows someone else will be participating. Plan for you or a caregiver to do the exercise routine with your loved one or provide assistance. Having a buddy involved also keeps your loved one accountable.
7. Try the Five Minute Approach
There will always be times when your loved one doesn’t want to work out. When this happens, suggest starting the routine for just five minutes. Often, this brief warmup is enough to get a person ready to finish an exercise routine.
Some family caregivers have busy schedules, making it challenging to find the time to assist with exercise and other tasks. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Tucson, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555.