For many, summertime is the time to get into shape, but have you ever thought about getting into shape with your elderly parent? It might be something to consider. It is a win-win situation, and here’s why:
· It’s an excuse to go outside
The weather is warming up, and it is always fun to find an excuse to go outside. What better way to enjoy this beautiful weather than exercising outdoors? Physicians recommend that your elderly parent does 30 minutes of cardiorespiratory exercise a day - this helps their body deliver oxygen and other nutrients to tissues, and over time, it helps the body get rid of toxins. Cardiorespiratory exercise can include walking, cycling, or even swimming. *
Workout Idea: Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City has beautiful sidewalks all around the lake. Take your senior walking. You can enjoy the day, the lake, a little exercise, and conversation.
Tip: If your parent gets tired, take a break. You can always build up to the 30 minutes or break it up into 10-minute increments.
· You get to spend quality time
Another good reason to start working out with your loved one is to spend quality time together. We know it is hard to find time to work out in your busy schedule. Why not spend time with your parent while working out? It is good for you and good for them. Strength training is a great way to get a good workout in and be able to have a conversation with your parent. Strength training can help your senior hold on to their bone mass, and it helps with balance, which can reduce the risk of falls and broken bones.
Workout Idea: Do bodyweight workouts in your living room. Have your parent put their favorite show on or just have a good conversation.
Tip: Only have your parent do the body weight workouts they feel comfortable with. You can use the exercise linked here, or you can search for your own.
· Help Your Loved One Maintain Independence
Exercise gives your senior a sense of independence. Participating in any meaningful activity can help your loved one stay connected to a lifestyle, have a sense of choice in their daily routine, and promote independence. Exercise, in particular, will help build strength, stamina, and balance, which empowers seniors to be more active with less risk of falling.
Workout Idea: Look up, gyms in your area. Find a fun one to go to with your parent. You can make it a routine. Maybe after your workout, you can even share lunch somewhere close to your gym.
Tip: When starting a weightlifting routine, start your senior loved one at a very low weight or none at all, then allow them to work up to using weights.
· You and Your Loved one Will Benefit
Regular exercise helps all of us both physically, mentally, and emotionally. You can make this a fun routine with your parent. You both can get healthier, enjoy the summer months, and enjoy each other's company.
Do you believe it may be time to seek help caring for your senior loved one? Home Care Assistance provides in-home assisted living services in the Edmond and Oklahoma City areas. Let us provide guidance for your loved one and family. Contact us today.
*Consult a physician or other healthcare professional before beginning any exercise to determine what is right for you.