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The Dos & Don’ts of Exercise During the Golden Years

According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults older than age 65 in good health should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week, in addition to muscle strengthening activities two days a week. If you provide home care in Westfield for an elderly relative and are encouraging him or her to get more exercise, keep these dos and don’ts in mind.

DO break it up. While 150 minutes sounds like a lot of time, it doesn’t need be all at once. Exercise in as little as 10-minute increments provides the needed benefits.

DON’T forget to check with the doctor. Even if your loved one is relatively healthy, his or her doctor can help recommend safe exercises to try.

DO check with your community. Churches, libraries, senior centers, and other organizations often provide senior exercise classes for free or at a low cost.

DON’T be intimidated. Remind your loved one that even if they can’t meet the guidelines recommended by the CDC, some amount of exercise is better than none. And over time, stamina and ability will increase.

DO find a buddy. Research shows that older adults are more likely to exercise if they have someone to go with. This is especially true for women. If you’re unavailable, an hourly caregiver in Westfield can assist your loved one, provide mobility support, and offer encouragement.

DON’T underestimate the physical and mental benefits. Although seniors tend to be skeptical, many clinical studies show the myriad of health benefits from staying physically fit can not only help your loved one live a longer life, but a happier and more fulfilled one.

DO what you love. Encouraging your loved one to find a type of activity that he or she likes to do, whether it’s walking, swimming, or gardening, makes it more likely that they’ll stick with the program.

Want to learn more about senior fitness or our flexible hourly care in Westfield? Reach out to Home Care Assistance. Every caregiver is expertly trained in the Balanced Care Method, a unique approach to senior health that encompasses physical activity, healthy diet, sharp minds, social ties, and purpose, helping seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Give us a call at 908.450.9400 and schedule a free in-home consultation.