Stay Active & Healthy: 10 Ways to Encourage Seniors to Exercise

Stay Active & Healthy: 10 Ways to Encourage Seniors to Exercise

Written by Amrita Dhaliwal & Reviewed by Gurnoor Mand

Exercising regularly is an important component of our day-to-day lives, even as we enter our senior years. It is essential to the prevention and delay of the onset of health problems that might affect us as we age, as well as the maintenance of our health over the long term. Regular exercise provides seniors with the increased strength that helps them in both their physical and mental health, allowing them to achieve much more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals age 65 and older do at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.

Growing older does not always imply that you will become less active. As they become older, the elderly person you care for can become less physically active as a result of worries about falling or feeling too exhausted to engage in physically active pastimes. On the other hand, you should strongly encourage them to have an active lifestyle so that they may keep their robust and healthy state throughout time.

However, incorporating exercise as an everyday habit can be quite a difficult task for seniors. Fortunately, we have ten simple tips to help encourage the older folks in your life to keep moving and get in touch with their inner active self. 

Tip 1 - Help Them See What They Can Achieve And Why They Should Do It

Oftentimes, it can be hard for people to make something habitual without seeing the purpose of doing it. That is why our first tip begins with showing the elders in your life why daily exercise is crucial to them and what they can achieve by doing it. This is where visualization tactics can be super beneficial. Visualization tactics are activities you may perform to assist you in attaining your goals. You may utilise your imagination to help you picture your ambitions before they come to fruition. You may boost your self-assurance, determination, and overall confidence by painting a mental image of your future accomplishments as a result of these goals, which will help you achieve the objectives you have set for yourself. Visualization can include picturing yourself giving your grandchild a piggyback ride, dancing at your daughter’s wedding or even taking a Tai Chi class, finally checking it off your bucket list. 

Tip 2 - Set Goals And Track Progress

Our second tip is centered around intention and progress. In order for exercise to become a regular task in everyone’s life, it is important to set distinct and realistic goals and continuously track the progress of those goals. This action can be achieved using a number of tools: activity logs, workout calendars, online fitness trackers, fitness journals, etc. Each person is different, and finding the best tool for you is crucial. By showing the elders in your life the many options they have access to and helping them try out each one to see which works best, you can help them get one step closer to achieving habitual daily physical activity. Once the tool is selected, a plan needs to be set in motion. Think about short-term and long-term goals and begin mapping them out using the tool of choice. For example, you might aim to walk for 30 minutes each day and gradually increase the distance or speed over time. The final step is pivoting. Like any plan, there are bound to be changes along the way. Thus, it is critical that you review these goals every so often and update them accordingly. Overall, the most essential part of this tip is to maintain consistency and monitor development throughout the course of time. As a result, it will be easier for seniors to maintain their motivation and accomplish their fitness goals.

Tip 3 - Incorporate An Element Of Fun

It is essential to keep in mind that having fun as you exercise is one of the most effective strategies for maintaining your motivation. It is important to encourage older people to choose a hobby or activity that they like doing since this will turn physical activity into something they eagerly want to do. Moreover, excitement may be generated by the use of variation. Altering the exercises they do can keep things interesting, enable them to try something new, and assist in keeping their general enthusiasm. For example, for those who take pleasure in a round of golf, instead of using a golf cart, consider making the trek around the course on foot. You might also try capturing images while you're out hiking and then sending them to friends as a way to encourage participation and connectedness among the senior citizens in your community. Overall, what is most important is trial and error. Try adding a fitness element to their current hobby or help them try out different things to find what they view as fun and not a task. 

Tip 4 - Add a Social Aspect To It

Aging individuals who supplement their workouts with social activities are more likely to maintain their fitness routines. Seniors who walk with a friend are more likely to stick with the exercise than those who walk alone. This is because seniors who walk with a partner are able to hold each other accountable while still having fun. In addition, older citizens who are avid social media users may choose to share their daily exercise accomplishments; this will help add an element of gratification to it, further encouraging continuation. You can also consider enrolling in fitness classes that meet on a regular basis and offer a regimented exercise routine. The action of meeting on a regular basis will promote persistence, and meeting with others will help them establish new friends, learn from others, and ultimately add the accountability factor once again.

Tip 5 - Encourage!

This final tip seems quite simple, yet it is very important and often gets overlooked. If you do not provide your loved ones with the support necessary to keep them physically active, it is possible that they may feel disheartened and quit exercising. You can bolster their spirits by speaking words of encouragement to them. There are several valid reasons as to why seniors do not partake in active exercise–with feeling exhausted or having no energy as a common one; however, this can be reduced with simple words of encouragement. When things get tough, sometimes all they need is someone telling them to keep going and see the end goal once again. Therefore, encourage, encourage, encourage!

Overall, staying active as you get older can be a challenge. However, these simple tips can help you encourage the aging loved ones in your life to maintain both their physical and mental health through regular exercise. This will also aid in the prevention of chronic illnesses, the continuation of socialization, and the preservation of independence. So get started today and kickstart the rest of your life!

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