A sedentary lifestyle isn’t healthy for anyone at any age. For caregivers whose lives are so wrapped up in caring for someone else, they may think that they just don’t have the time to exercise. Yet staying fit is crucial if the caregiver wishes to remain effective at caregiving. So how do they include this important component of good health into their daily routines?
It really is possible to get fit after age 50. Caregivers and their aging seniors can find ways to get fit together. The extent to which the elderly adult can participate depends of course, on their physical condition. Regular exercise could really improve their health as well.
What are some of the important parts of staying fit?
- Flexibility – the more flexible you are, the more range of motion you have in all the joints of your body. Having good flexibility helps a person lessen the risk of bad falls as they age. Flexibility allows the body to react more quickly against gravity. In a good flexibility program, the feet and toes should get a good workout, and continue all the way up the body, including hamstrings, spine, arms and neck. The body should be warmed up before stretching so that it elongates more easily and to prevent injury.
- Aerobic exercise – exercise is the primary factor that reduces a person’s risk of dying from a heart attack. Coronary artery disease is the number one killer in America. Factors that contribute to it include inactivity, smoking, overweight, high cholesterol levels, diabetes and high blood pressure. With aerobic exercise, you must burn oxygen. That’s what it means. You must sustain a prolonged effort. Work up some endurance in an activity such as walking, swimming, running, climbing etc.
- Calisthenics or weight-bearing exercises – it doesn’t necessarily require any fitness equipment, because you can use the weight of your own body for resistance. These exercises build muscle strength. Some examples are lunges, jumping jacks, press ups, step ups and squats. This is free and fairly easy to do anywhere. You can also do strength training in a gym.
- Equilibrium – work on maintaining good balance throughout your lifetime. Good balance will help you to resist and even prevent falling. Our bodies gradually lose their ability to maintain good balance as we age. But we can slow down and even arrest this process by practicing balance and participating in good balance exercises.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of home care services in Pittsford, NY contact the caregivers at Caring Hearts of Rochester, LLC. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (585) 245-0134 for more information.
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