6 Ways for Sedentary Aging Adults to Get Some Exercise

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Ways Older Adults Who Are Sedentary Can Get Some Exercise in Des Moines, IA

Leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause a wide variety of health issues. According to a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, physical inactivity increases the risk of depression, anxiety, heart attacks, strokes, coronary disease, and certain types of cancer. Here are a few ways sedentary seniors can get some exercise.

1. Start Small

If your senior loved one has been sedentary, jumping into a fitness program could be discouraging at first. While the ultimate goal is to get between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise per day, it’s okay to break this number up into 10-minute increments. Your loved one can start small by taking a 10-minute walk in the morning, taking another 10-minute walk after lunch, and finishing the day with a 10-minute yoga session. Aging adults who need help with exercise can benefit from professional in-home care. At-home care 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.

2. Get NEAT

The acronym NEAT stands for “non-exercise activity thermogenesis.” If your loved one sits most of the day, aiming for 10 minutes of NEAT activities per hour is a great way to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Some NEAT activities include bending, stretching, twisting at the waist, and turning.

3. Engage in an Enjoyable Activity

Exercise shouldn’t be a dreaded activity. If your loved one doesn’t enjoy traditional aerobic activities, find something he or she does enjoy. Dancing, swimming, hiking, and gardening are all fun ways to get exercise.

4. Find an Exercise Buddy

Exercising with a friend offers a chance to socialize. Most senior centers and community recreation centers offer group classes or walking clubs at a variety of levels. Joining a group exercise class is a good way to get some physical activity and socialize with others. Attending group exercise classes isn’t the only way for seniors to socialize. For families living in Des Moines, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

5. Look into Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Many seniors with arthritis become sedentary due to painful joints, but a sedentary lifestyle can worsen arthritis symptoms. A 2005 study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology found that men and women who had arthritis and led sedentary lifestyles slowly lost the ability to perform daily tasks. If your loved one has arthritis, look into physical therapy. A physical therapist can help your loved one gain flexibility and strength through activities that won’t put too much pressure on the joints.

6. Try to Complete 10,000 Steps Per Day

Taking 10,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of five miles, can tone the muscles and strengthen the heart. A pedometer or fitness bracelet is a simple way to keep track of steps and encourage your loved one to continually move. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can increase strength and stamina. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Des Moines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Whether your parent needs hourly or live-in care, give us a call at (515) 264-2438 today.


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