One of the precious things that seniors have to take care of as they age is their health. However, there are instances that they find it difficult to engage in physical activities since they are uninspired or frustrated. This is a vicious cycle that further results in lesser activity, translating to more health problems. This should not be the case.
Luckily, it’s easier to develop a physical program for those older adults in assisted living homes. In addition, studies revealed that peers surrounding them doing the same activities make them more inspired to engage in these initiatives. As a result, they don’t feel left out and feel more confident in themselves.
Read on to know some fun ways seniors can stay physically active in assisted living homes.
1.) Attend a Dance Class
Some seniors may not be in love with doing traditional exercises. They might think it’s too boring or uninteresting. One way to address this kind of thinking is by seeking ways to make physical activities more fun and enjoyable, and taking a dance class is a good option.
When we say a dance class, we do not mean letting seniors watch the latest episodes of ‘Dancing with the Stars’, as fun as that may be. Instead, they should do it firsthand and reap its key benefits.
For one, dancing is an effective all-over body strengthener. It’s a fact that older people tend to use their muscles less as they age, primarily from the effects of retirement and fewer house chores. However, exposing themselves to this kind of lifestyle is a no-no since their muscles can be prone to becoming weaker. Dancing targets all parts of the body, from the upper and lower body as well as the core. This allows them to address both balance and stability, which declines faster in older people.
Another byproduct of aging that most individuals are concerned with is limited flexibility. What’s good about this is that its deterioration may be postponed with the help of physical movement. Dance classes enable these elders to face a variety of motions without having to stress their muscles and joints too much.
This is even more fun to be had in assisted living homes. With more seniors as participants, it would be a good idea to spearhead a dance competition just to keep the fire burning. Just ensure that they get to train initially before proceeding with the match.
2.) Undergo Low-Impact Swimming Exercises
Elders often feel too uninspired to exercise since it takes a toll on their bodies. However, what most people do not know is that low-impact swimming exercises also produce the same results as that of more energy-requiring activities. No, this won’t entail them doing 50 laps in an Olympic swimming pool.
Experts recommend seniors engage with aqua jogging and aerobics. These are low-impact exercises that benefit the body by reducing lower back pain and improving one’s body composition. It’s also a great opportunity to socialize with friends while satisfying other aspects of life.
3.) Own a Pet
Some might probably wonder how getting a pet is related to improving physical health. It’s not really connected to owning a furry companion, but it’s more connected to the activities that go with this. The most common way that a pet and its owner bond is by walking.
Walking alone may sometimes be unmotivating. However, with the help of your lovable pet, you can turn your lonely afternoon walks into more exciting ones. Various pet lovers revealed that they walk longer with their pets by their side. This stems from the fact that they don’t notice the time and distance since they’re too distracted with their fur babies.
On another note, they observed that their walks are now scheduled more regularly. This is because they don’t just look out for their own health, but their four-legged friend as well. They know that a walk is critical in a dog’s lifestyle.
Walking regularly and at longer distances helps keep the joints moving. This is perfect for older people who have trouble with flexibility, especially those experiencing arthritis. Keeping their bodies in step with its demand will enable them to join more physical activities in the future as well.
4.) Exercise with Wii
More assisted living homes have upgraded how they cater to their residents. Especially with the onset of a digital lifestyle, it’s a good decision to integrate this even with a senior’s lifestyle. However, we do not refer to the 100 hours a week with them just scrolling their phones to check their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Rather, we’re talking about more exciting and thrilling ways to stay active and fit without leaving the inside premises.
Believe it or not, it would be helpful to use a Nintendo Wii. Various games, such as tennis, skiing, yoga, dancing, bowling, and more, provide different options for fun exercises. Some people might be hesitant to do this. What they do not know is that these games have a wide range of difficulties that will definitely make everyone sweat.
Nintendo also has an effective way to track progress. They do this through the Wii Fit, which can track the user’s weight, general fitness level, and progress report. This is useful, especially if the seniors want to understand how these activities benefit their bodies.
5.) Learn Yoga
Most people see Yoga as an easy exercise. However, experts debunked this myth and stood by saying that yoga definitely works out one’s body. It targets an individual’s stability and balance while also improving flexibility and strength. Outside the physical benefits, it is also an effective way to calm the mind and eliminate stress.
Assisted living homes may opt to offer this activity. In addition, many facilities include these in their recreational programs and even invite professionals to lead the yoga classes.
There are various ways to encourage older adults to remain physically active, as proven above. They just have to find the right mix and see which program suits their body and personality.