As your loved one ages, making sure they stay fit is incredibly important. A way to stave that off is with quality senior health care that emphasizes fitness.
Look for caregiver services that give your senior loved ones the care they need and the motivation to get on their feet and keep moving.
Fitness plans for seniors are vastly different from younger, healthier adults. Instead of running or high-intensity training, a solid senior fitness program is anchored around easy-to-do exercises that raise the heart rate and aren't too strenuous.
The National Council on Aging (ncoa.org) has a great list of resources that deal with ways in which seniors can maintain their fitness. Senior health care is all about being flexible when it comes to getting exercise.
Here in the Lowcountry, we are blessed with beautiful weather for most of the year, which makes exercising in the outdoors an enjoyable activity.
Something as simple as walking is a phenomenal exercise for the elderly. That can be walking around the neighborhood, walking on the beach or just doing laps around the house; either way, walking is a great way to work many muscle groups as well as giving your loved one a cardio workout.
Add a few light free weights, no more than five pounds each, in each hand and you can add a layer of strength training to your loved one's workout regimen as well. More strength can mean a healthier life for your loved one.
Other, less impactful, workouts can include biking on one of our beautiful trails or gardening. Biking raises the heart rate just like walking but is lower impact.
Another great activity, especially for the homebody, is gardening. It's outdoors, works many muscle groups due to tasks like shoveling, planting, and weeding, and works the mind due to having to plan out the garden and figure out where to place each vegetable or flower.
With spring just around corner, the beach is a great warm weather option for swimming - an excellent low-impact workout. The water gives the body buoyancy so seniors can float through the exercise session without putting pressure on the joints. Your neighborhood pool is also a great option.
Jennifer Redmond is the family care coordinator for Senior Helpers of Hilton Head Island. firstname.lastname@example.org.