It can be hard enough to get ourselves motivated to exercise – imagine how difficult it can be to motivate seniors to exercise, especially if they suffer from aches, pains, or even mobility issues. Thankfully, with some creativity and education, most seniors can be inspired to engage in more physical activity, even when residing in an assisted living facility. Spring Hills makes it even easier to motivate elderly adults to participate, offering numerous programs and classes that make exercising an enjoyable social activity.
The Benefits of Exercise for Senior Citizens
Regular exercise can improve a senior’s cardiovascular health, bone, and joint health, strengthen muscles and increase dexterity, and improve balance and endurance. Exercise decreases the likelihood of things like diabetes and heart disease, and with strengthened joints and muscles, seniors are less likely to suffer from strains or displacements.
The benefits aren’t just physical, though. Regular physical activity also promotes:
- Restful sleep. Many seniors find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep or to feel well-rested. Our caregivers have seen regular light exercise help many elderly adults achieve a deeper sleep.
- Emotional well-being. Exercise tends to decrease anxiety and depression, often increasing self-confidence and promoting feelings of independence.
- Mental function. Activities such as tai chi and yoga have a meditative element, which is excellent for improving memory and concentration.
Assisted living for seniors doesn’t have to be sedentary; Spring Hills offers a variety of senior-friendly exercise programs and activities to suit the individual needs of our residents and home care clients – ranging from simple stretching and chair exercises to pilates, yoga, and Tai Chi classes. Spring Hills facilities also have beautiful, landscaped grounds that seniors and guests can enjoy during leisurely, endurance-building walks. Plus, these activities provide a great opportunity to socialize!
Tips For Encouraging Older Adults to Exercise
The key to motivating seniors is to give them a sense of empowerment and to demonstrate that exercise can be fun. Here are some approaches that our caregivers use to keep seniors motivated and happy:
- Inform them of the benefits. Most seniors do want to improve their health, both in terms of longevity and mobility. When the benefits are explained to them, especially relating to their individual health issues, you’d be surprised how much seniors want to help themselves!
- Provide some guidance. It can be intimidating to start an exercise regimen when someone hasn’t done it before. By guiding them through their exercises, or providing a personal fitness trainer, seniors gain a sense of “yes, I can”. Sometimes a fun gadget can help – many seniors find themselves walking more often when given a pedometer to track their steps.
- Make it social. Sign them up for a class the two of you can do together, or invite them for a game of golf with a group. There are also a number of group activities for them at Spring Hills. It’s amazing how effective a simple invitation for social interaction can be for encouraging seniors to participate in activities. Don’t forget that seniors like being included in something fun and are happy that you want to spend time with them.
Spring Hills recognizes all of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of regular exercise for seniors. Our experienced and encouraging caregivers know how to motivate older adults to participate in the many activities offered. To find the Spring Hills facility closest to you, or to ask any questions, please contact us.