How to Help Older Adults Remain Physically Fit

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Staying physically fit is important for people of all ages. However, it may be even more vital for older adults, as being fit can reduce complications from age-related illnesses. Here are some ways to help your senior loved one remain physically fit so he or she can stay healthier during the golden years. 


Monitor Weight

Because of a sedentary lifestyle, a slowed metabolism, increased caloric intake, and medication side effects, older adults may be more susceptible to obesity, which can make exercising difficult and, in some cases, dangerous. If your loved one is overweight, offer him or her healthy foods, avoiding highly processed, sugary, or high-fat foods. 

Once your loved one has lost weight through dieting, he or she can then begin a mild exercise routine, which can increase in intensity as time goes by. Before encouraging a new fitness routine, talk to your loved one’s physician to make sure it’s safe to do so. Certain medications such as beta blockers may cause exercise intolerance, and your loved one will need to start out very slowly until his or her body gets acclimated to a new fitness routine. 

If your loved one needs help exercising safely, hiring a professional in-home caregiver can be an ideal solution. Homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.


Treat Pain

Seniors with chronic pain may be unable to remain physically fit. At the first sign of pain, your loved one should take his or her prescribed medications to achieve greater range of motion. Treating pain can also increase exercise tolerance so your loved one can engage in more activity. If your loved one still experiences pain despite taking prescribed pain medications, ask the doctor about enrolling your loved one in a physical therapy program to increase body strength and endurance. 


Consider Yoga

Taking beginner yoga classes can help older adults remain physically fit. While intermediate and expert yoga classes can be strenuous and difficult for some seniors, classes for beginners gradually increase fitness levels and are considered safe for most people. In addition, regular yoga exercises can also enhance pulmonary health, which may make exercising and increased activity easier for those with impaired lung function. Yoga can also boost mood and sleep patterns, which can contribute to overall physical fitness in older adults. 

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, hiring a home caregiver to take over on occasion is a great option. Columbus respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, home care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.


Get a Dog

Embarking on new exercise programs to enhance physical fitness may not appeal to seniors. They may need an extra boost of motivation to inspire them to increase their activity levels. Getting a dog may motivate your loved one to get outside and take walks with his or her new pet. Even if your loved one is unable to take walks, he or she can still get some exercise by playing catch with the animal in the backyard. Animal companionship makes exercise less of a chore and more of an enjoyable activity. 

Assistance with getting physically fit is just one of the benefits seniors receive when families enlist the help of trained at-home caregivers. Columbus elderly home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Assisting Hands Home Care can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Specialists today to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.