Keep on moving! Staying active and healthy in old age
Regular exercise is good for you. We all know that, but as people get older health complaints, mobility problems, or even simple lack of motivation can all lead to them becoming less active.
If a person you are caring for is spending long hours everyday chair-bound, they may need some help and encouragement to increase their activity levels. It won’t just improve their physical health, but their mental health too.
The benefits of moving more
- It gets the blood pumping round the body, and makes you less lethargic and more alert.
- It’s good for your heart and can help reduce high blood pressure.
- Regular exercise plays an essential role in reducing the risk of falls by improving core strength and balance.
- It keeps the bones strong, and prevents muscles deteriorating, helping you maintain and even improve your level of mobility and independence.
- It helps you sleep better at night.
- It can improve self esteem and confidence in your own abilities.
- It can provide opportunities for mixing with other people and socialising.
- It can ease anxiety and agitation, and for anyone living with dementia can help reduce restlessness and wandering.
Exercise can be fun!
Exercise takes many forms and with a little imagination you’re sure to be able to find a suitable activity that your loved one will enjoy taking part in.
Don’t worry if they are reluctant to do very much at first. Try to find out what the problem is. Fear of falling or loss of both confidence and motivation are common worries that prevent people being active. Careful choice of activity and the provision of appropriate balance and mobility aids (such as walking stick or rollator) can make all the difference.
So whether you enjoy a good walk outside, dancing round the living room, a spot of gentle gardening, housework, or even armchair aerobics, the emphasis needs to be on having fun.
Here at Rathside we try to be creative in the activities we provide to make sure exercise is a lively, sociable, and above all enjoyable activity that everyone can join in whatever their ability.
So whether its a spot of dancing round the lounge (always one of our favourite pastimes here!), armchair aerobics, balloon badminton, or indoor bowling to name just a few, there’s always an activity to get everyone up and moving!