Despite the ongoing heat waves occurring during summer weather, seniors should make every effort to build exercise into their daily routines.
Older adults, especially those over 75, are more prone to experience little or no physical activity in their day.
Those aged 65 and older who do engage in exercise often find satisfaction in mildly exertive activities, like gardening or walking.
Getting together with family and friends boosts the chances of seniors participating in regular physical exercise.
Benefits of Exercise
The health benefits of physical activity for seniors are immense. Older individuals who engage in some level of regular physical exercise have a lesser chance of falling and fracturing bones. Seniors also live independently longer.
In addition to maintaining independence, seniors’ blood pressure may be reduced in some individuals with hypertension. Muscle strength is improved, along with healthy bones and joints.
Seniors who exercise are less likely to die from coronary heart disease; plus, the risk for developing high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes is dramatically reduced.
Even joint pain associated with arthritis improves with regular physical activity. Older folks’ moods also receive a boost. Depression and anxiety symptoms decline with exercise. Overall, exercise prompts feelings of well-being.
Time the Exercise
Seniors can still get a good dose of exercise when the sun is out on a hot summer day. The key to incorporating exercise during the summer months is to exercise when the sun is not fully blazing, such as early mornings, before 7 am, or after the sun has descended past the horizon in the evenings.
After sunset may be still a tad warm, but without direct sunlight, the later hours prevent the likelihood of heat exhaustion.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Dark clothing traps sunlight, attracting the sun’s rays and ensuring steady heat against the body. Throw off the dark layers. Instead, seniors should opt for light colored apparel that reflects the sun’s rays.
Layers of lightweight clothing also help in lowering the body’s central heat and prevents the accumulation of sweat.
Heat is known to create intense thirst. In summer, seniors should always bring a bottle filled with water to any outdoor activities.
Hydration is critical to seniors especially, since older people are likely to experience delayed thirst (feeling thirsty well after the body is dehydrated). Drinks laden with sugar should be avoided during physical activity.
Seniors exercising outdoors should make it a point to consume 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes.
Wade into a Pool
Indoor pools are an ideal way for seniors to stay active in summertime and stay cool. Community recreation centers offer the opportunity for seniors to swim laps and participate in water aerobics.
Outdoor pools are another recreational path for seniors to keep comfortably chill on a blistering day. Older people should be careful to apply plenty of sunscreen and hydrate before wading into the outdoor pools or bodies of water.
Take a Class
In addition to lounging around the pool, senior citizens are presented with a wealth of activities that promote physical health.
Senior centers regularly offer classes in tai chi, yoga, aerobics and numerous exhilarating classes that include a variety of exercises.
Seniors can visit the local library, community center or church, as these places often advertise exercise classes intended for seniors.
Even health food stores or the doctor’s office may post flyers geared toward physical activities for older people.
Walk the Mall
Fit two enjoyable activities into one: Seniors who engage in mall walking can also window shop. Malls are free, public air-conditioned spaces where older adults can participate in walking for an hour or two.
Indoors malls are safe to stroll during any type of intense weather and give seniors a reliable place to walk even during temperate weather.
Stay in Shape Indoors
On a scorching hot day, the great indoors makes for a pleasant spot to engage in physical activity. Exercise videos can be followed online for robust workouts geared specifically toward seniors.
Yoga DVDs that aim to engage seniors are also available.
YouTube offers a wealth of Pilates videos that interested seniors may follow. The National Institute on Aging has developed a YouTube channel called Go4Life that incorporates flexibility, balance and strength training specifically for the aging adult.
Simple exercises, like windmills and arm curls, may be discovered from a variety of e-books intended to keep seniors active.
The importance of exercise for seniors cannot be emphasized enough. Those who regularly challenge their physical bodies with range of motion and flexibility exercises build muscles around their joints and thwart the onset of early arthritis.
Being active also helps maintain a healthy weight, thereby reducing the amount of pressure on joints.
Senior citizens, no matter what their age or physical ability, should strive to incorporate at least mild exercise into their weekly schedules to reduce risks of the onset of diseases and conditions that may have been otherwise prevented.
The senior in your life will undoubtedly benefit from regular physical activity. If a loved one lives alone or is reluctant to drive, the professional caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care in Hinsdale IL are available to lend a hand.
A common service with which caregivers assist includes transportation to exercise classes, social activities and physical therapy appointments.
Assisting Hands Home Care caregivers also are trained in fall prevention. This means caregivers help those with mobility issues get around the house.
Caregivers also provide excellent opportunities for seniors to engage in summer activities. Professional caregivers accompany seniors on leisurely walks, outdoors or indoors, ensuring the individuals feel secure at all times, remain steady and do not fall.
Our team of Assisting Hands Home Care caregivers are both skilled and compassionate in helping the aging population live lives filled with dignity and as much independence as possible.
The management team at our reputable elder care agency will create a customized and flexible plan of care for the care recipient. Assisting Hands Home Care is dedicated to serving the elder populations in Hinsdale, IL and the surrounding communities.