If your elderly loved one is healthy enough, his/her doctor has likely recommended that they start an exercise program. Depending on his health, however, you may wonder why exactly he’s recommending exercise at all. It’s likely for one or a combination of these reasons.
Your Loved-One Needs to Maintain Muscle Mass
Exercise, even in small amounts, helps your elderly loved one to maintain the muscle mass that he has and hopefully to build more. Your loved one’s body tends to lose muscle mass as he ages, which can help to make her weaker than he should be. As your loved one retains muscle and is able to exercise more, he’s also helping to keep her bones strong. Every little bit helps.
Your Loved-One Needs Good Balance
Decreasing stamina, weak muscles, and other health issues can all contribute to your loved one having poor balance. Exercise helps with the physical aspects, of course, but it can also help your loved one to learn how to balance her body much more effectively. All of that works together to help your loved one be able to stay on his/her feet.
Your Loved-One Needs the Endorphins
You may have heard before that exercise triggers your body to release something called endorphins. These are hormones created in the body that help your loved one to protect her emotional health. This is particularly important if your elderly loved one is prone to depression or melancholy. Exercise also helps her to feel more confident in herself and her abilities, which also allows him to feel better overall.
Your Loved-One Might Improve Her Sleep
Because your loved one’s body is working harder and more regularly, he’s likely able to sleep better, too. Regular exercise can help your loved one’s body to fall asleep much more quickly than he might be used to and it can help him to stay asleep longer. As your loved one continues with her exercise program, he’s likely to notice that he’s sleeping better overall without having to even think about it much.
Work with your loved one’s elder care providers to put together a daily routine that includes all of her necessary activities, including exercise.