It’s hard to be active and enjoy the benefits of exercise when the winds are howling outside, and sidewalks and roads are covered with snow and ice. Your parent may not realize that in a course of a day she’s not even taking 1,000 steps out of the recommended 10,000 steps a day. But with many gyms and other group athletic events not meeting, finding a place to get a little movement into your parent’s day may be a struggle. The good news is that with a little creativity, your parent can perform some basic exercises right in her living room (or basement or any other part of the house).
Your parent might enjoy putting in a video or pulling up a YouTube video to do some yoga right in her home. Yoga is great for flexibility and balance as well as stress. Have your elder care provider help by setting up a safe area for your parent to perform yoga with the needed mats. If she’s not comfortable with floor yoga, chair yoga is created specifically for older adults and your elder care provider can help your parent set up a solid chair and find the right videos for her.
Your parent doesn’t need to start bench pressing heavy weights, but some simple strength training exercises using items right from her home will help her with energy, weight management and endurance. Search on the internet or find a good instruction book with illustrations of basic strength training exercises your parent can do using water bottles, cans of food or even potato sacks. Have her start slow and increase weights and repetitions as she feels ready.
There are many great aerobic classes on videos and YouTube so that your parent can try lots of different ones until she finds the right one that matches her skill levels as well as entertainment value. Having your elder care provider create a safe space in the home for your parent to move around without bumping into objects or tripping will be important. Your parent will also want to make sure she’s wearing clothes that are appropriate for a lot of movement and shoes that are supportive. If an aerobic-type of class isn’t your parent’s thing, perhaps purchasing a tread mill or exercise bike will be something she’ll appreciate more. Be open to ideas.
Your parent doesn’t need to leave the home to walk. She can walk around from room to room, up and down stairs pumping her arms to get her heart rate elevated. If she lives in an apartment building, she can walk the hallways for 30 minutes going around each floor and up and down the stairs. The important thing is that she’s moving and getting in some needed steps to her day. She could combine 20 minutes of walking with 15 minutes of strength training for a good workout right within her home.
Encourage your parent to strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week. If motivation is tough, your elder care provider can plan times to “work out” with your parent or at least get her set up and ready to go. You can also have your parent keep a daily record of her exercise so that in a few months, she can see the improvements she’s made.
If you are considering elder care in Charlotte, NC for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. Call today: (704) 246-5806.