You know your dad needs to exercise. He has high blood pressure and is overweight. His doctor advised him to make sure he’s getting up off the sofa each day and get outside. When you asked how much exercise he needs, his doctor didn’t really give a clear answer. The advice was any is better than none.
You’re not sure how hard to push your dad. Here are some guidelines to help you decide how much exercise your dad needs.
The General Rule of Thumb for Exercise
Generally, experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. Moderate activity means a walk at a fast pace, a 30-minute Zumba class, or swimming laps for 30 minutes. The goal is to increase his pulse. A slow walk is not enough, so he may need to walk longer or multiple times per day to meet this goal.
Some of the better activities for a senior are tai chi, yoga, and water aerobics. These aren’t strenuous, and they help work on balance skills. A treadmill with handles for support is a great idea for a senior who wants to increase mobility. A stationary bicycle or an elliptical is another good option.
Breaking up his exercises each day will help alleviate any boredom. One day, he could get a ride to a local pool for a water aerobics class. The next day, he could go on two walks. After that, he could use his elliptical machine for 30 minutes while watching his favorite TV show.
But, Consider Your Dad’s Abilities
If your dad is not used to being active, he’s going to struggle to jump right in. You’ll need to give him a lower goal and work up from there. If you get him a fitness tracker like Fitbit, he can track his goals and know when he’s reached them. It can help get him motivated to improve each day.
For example, if he typically spends his day on his computer, a five-minute walk is a good place to start. Have him do that every few hours. After a couple of weeks, increase it to a ten-minute walk. Pay attention to how hard he breathes when completing a walk.
Make Sure He Has Someone Around
Before your dad starts exercising more, you may want to consider home care. Rather than have him risk injury and have no one around, he can have a caregiver nearby. A caregiver can clean the home while he gets his exercise, so there’s no infringement on his privacy. If he prefers, a caregiver can join him on his daily walk.
Learn more about the ways home care can help your dad gain mobility. Call an agency today to get started.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Robbinsville, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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