National Senior Health & Fitness Day is on May 30th this year and the goal remains the same – to keep seniors fit and healthy. With over a thousand organizations hosting local Senior Day events and 100,000+ participants, activity directors are preoccupied finding fun ways to get seniors moving.

 

If you need some ideas, we put together a list of some of our favorites!

Bowling

Bowling can provide light exercise, improve hand-eye coordination, and foster teammate camaraderie amongst those under your care. The best part is that you can set up an indoor bowling alley at your facility, or bring your seniors on a group outing to take on challengers at your local lanes.

Some tips to bear in mind when at a bowling alley: keep track of the ball weight your seniors are using – the lighter, the better. Those with an additional finger grip are great for easy handling and carrying less strain. Also, watch out for the lane itself – it’s coated with oil and can be extremely slippery. Stay back behind the foul line to avoid a potentially dangerous fall.

Chair Yoga

Yes, you heard that right. It can be done, and it’s actually one of the best ways to promote balance, relief from joint pain, and increased flexibility, while also being conscious of the varying physical needs and endurance within your group. And because seniors are reportedly able to use both hemispheres of the brain more equally than a younger person, they’re actually very well suited to the level of mind-body connection that yoga requires to be effective.

Make sure the chairs you use are fairly sturdy (no rolling office chairs), and that everyone is planted firmly in the center of their seats, and you’re good to go!

Dance Lessons

Dancing is a form of aerobic exercise that is great for activity directors because it can be adjusted to account for any size group. It’s also a form of physical therapy for those suffering from motor function issues or joint pain.

You don’t need to hire a professional, or even have any prior knowledge. There are tons of instructional DVDs out there that will make leading a dance class a breeze. It could be fun to incorporate different themes, like having a Salsa Night, complete with food, music, and decorations.

Group Fitness

It’s easier than you might think to coordinate a group fitness class for seniors, even amongst those with different levels of mobility or engagement. Advancements in technology have made it easier to get everyone moving.

You can use a workout app, like Aaptiv, to lead your seniors through a low-impact, easy to follow routine. Consider connecting the audio to an Eversound system, to ensure everyone can hear you during the class.

Just remember that it’s not about completing a workout start to finish, or making sure every person is in sync, but about helping your residents get up and get mobile in an interactive environment.

Art Show

Hosting an art show event brings the group together and promotes interaction between seniors. It’s also a chance to get everyone moving, to stand up in front of the group, or walk back and forth, looking at each other’s work.

You can spin this into a few different activities – an arts and crafts session, an art exhibit, and a show-and-tell event. This way, your residents feel connected to each event through the whole process and can have fun sharing their perspective with others.

Even if you and your residents are stuck inside, there’s still plenty you can do to keep spirits up, engage in healthy behaviors, and maximize the ability to create positive bonding moments in a controlled environment

Today’s post is guest written by our friends over at Aaptiv.