Everyone knows that exercise is good for you but how many of us stay active as we get older? Some people believe that you should then use exercise as you grow older. Others think that they are too old to start working out. Nothing could be further from the truth!
In fact, exercise gives benefits no matter your age. It can actually add years to your life. And it doesn’t have to be strenuous either. Even gentle exercises like walking or swimming can add up to five years to your lifespan.
Exercise is not just good for your physical body. It helps you with mental health as well. Regular physical activity releases endorphins and reduces stress. It can boost your mood and self-confidence. You’ll also find that you can fall asleep easily and wake up refreshed after you exercise. As you grow older, physical activity helps you the mental effect as well.
Myths about Activity for Seniors
Why should I exercise? I will grow old anyway.
With or without exercise, you will grow old. But exercise will help you feel and look younger You can stay independent for longer. It will also boost your immune system at a time when it could use the help. Reduce the risk of conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease etc.
Exercise increases the risk of falling down
Falling down is a serious risk for older people. It can affect their chances of living independently. But regular exercise actually reduces the risk of falling down. An active lifestyle helps you build strength and stamina. It also improves your sense of balance so you don’t fall down.
Exercise is too hard or I’m too weak/in pain
No one is asking senior citizens to exercise like a young athlete. The secret is to set goals you can meet, given your age and state of health. Exercising doesn’t mean sweating it out in the gym. Yoga or Tai Chi with friends or walking on the golf course is exercise. Even window shopping while you walk laps in the shopping mall counts!
Start off gently and increase the intensity if you feel up to it. Remember, you’re not competing with others. Exercise is a journey as much as it is a destination.
Given such numerous positive benefits of exercise for seniors, can you help your residents stay active? Of course, you can, both physically and mentally!
Many communities offer a number of fitness activities to promote overall health. The key here is to offer a diverse range of activities. After all, you’d like everyone to participate. Some people like group classes they can attend with friends. Others prefer solitary exercises in a gym.
Some of your more active residents may prefer strenuous activities. But keep in mind that low-impact exercises can benefit everyone. Regular classes in yoga or tai chi is a good idea since even previously sedentary residents can join in the fun. You don’t have to be an athlete to get started!
Some of your residents may find structured classes too restrictive. Why not organize a nature walk instead? Encourage residents to start a walking club which meets regularly. Quite a few people find they like exercising when they can also interact with their friends at the same time.
What if some of your residents have mobility issues? Using in an armchair doesn’t mean you cannot exercise. You can still lift weights or exercise your upper body to improve flexibility. You can even find instructors who will lead classes like chair yoga and chair tai chi!
All physical activities have mental health benefits but that’s not the only exercise residents need. Mental activities that stimulate the mind and promote intellectual exploration are just as important. However, it doesn’t mean you have to start reading research papers or scientific journals!
Bingo or Mahjong nights present wonderful opportunities to promote mental health. As a side benefit, it encourages community involvement. It gives your residents a chance to mingle with others and strengthen social relationships. Plus it’s a whole lot of fun!
Informing your residents about such events doesn’t have to be difficult either. With Cov’s engagement features, you can send special and general announcements directly to residents. Notify them about upcoming events and even sent emergency alerts. It gives an easy way for your residents to discover the various activities you organize for them.
That’s not all. Residents with a premium plan can access a photo directory, allowing them to easily remember faces and names. They can also make restaurant reservations and access event schedules. Let them browse the daily menu and reserve their place in upcoming events. Use the latest technology to keep your residents safe and secure, even as they stay active!