Exercise is important for everyone – even aging adults. We’re not talking about running races or sweaty aerobics classes. We mean simple, low-impact exercises that seniors can do to maintain their cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, and sound mind.
Exercise has many benefits for both the body and the brain. Here are a few we thought we super important for senior citizens, and reasons that’ll inspire activity planners to add physical activities to monthly activity calendars.
- Improves Moods – Lessen depression among your residents by increasing their production of endorphins, causing clearer minds and happier moods.
- Helps with Weight – Maintain a resident’s healthy weight with regular exercise and activity.
- Increases Energy – Endorphins help again here. Give your residents the energy boost they need to get through the day.
- Great for the Brain – Exercise can stimulate the production of hormones that enhance brain cell growth. Many seniors, especially those with dementia and Alzheimer’s, could benefit from this.
Like we said, exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. Make it simple. Not all physical activity needs to be in the form of an exercise class. You can get your seniors moving during your regularly schedule activities as well.
Your Regularly Scheduled Program
Yard work is a considered physical. When the weather is nice, schedule this a few times a week.
Go on walks. Yup, walking is most definitely the best exercise for seniors.
Got a music class? Get your seniors out of their chairs and make it a dancing class. Two classes in one!
Take Residents Out
Mall trip coming up? First, walk the mall as a group for exercise. Then, give your residents their free time to shop.
Go Bowling! Bowling helps with flexibility, strength, and balance. And it always brings a little healthy competition.
Yoga can be a combination of seated and standing yoga poses that increase flexibility and range of movement. Incorporate breathing exercises and relaxation poses to promote stress reduction and mental clarity.
If your community has a pool, hold low-impact water exercise classes during the warm months. Bring in a fitness instructor in to teach this or jump in the pool yourself!
Try Bucket Ball – a classic senior community activity. Sit residents in a large circle and place a bucket in the center. With two different colored tennis balls, have teams compete to see who can bounce the balls in the bucket the fastest.