Medical experts agree that exercise is just as important for seniors as it is for the rest of the population. But what happens when an elderly loved one is homebound, due to illness, injury or mental limitations? Many family members mistakenly believe that seniors should not exercise because they are too frail or they might hurt themselves. While it is true that seniors can’t participate in some activities due to certain limitations, there are plenty of exercise options that can keep them physically well and fit.
With supervision and approval by a doctor, homebound seniors can enjoy all kinds of physical activities in the comfort and convenience of their own home. With proper planning by physical therapists and family members, the elderly can participate in an exercise program perfectly suited for their abilities. Even home care aides will be able to support their elderly patients in enjoying activities.
Types of Exercises for Homebound Seniors
There are many different exercise programs for seniors with limited abilities and who are confined to home. Strength training and resistance activities are ideal for small spaces and many can be done while sitting down or being supported by sturdy furniture. Strength training is repetitive motions against resistance, so seniors can use light hand weights, resistance bands and even household items like cans to build strength. They can do leg raises, curls, arm lifts and more for about 10 repetitions and one to two sets, increasing as needed. Strength training provides plenty of activity for seniors that are homebound.
Stretching and flexibility exercises are also ideal for seniors that cannot get outside for exercise. There are lots of senior-specific videos and DVDs on the market that offer activities like yoga and tai chi that can be done at home in front of a television. Seniors can even subscribe to online video channels with fitness instructors that specialize in senior activity for a different program every day. There are even exercise programs that can be done entirely while sitting in a comfortable chair. Medical experts recommend that seniors participate in exercise activities for 20 to 30 minutes at least three days per week.
Why Should Homebound Seniors Exercise?
Seniors benefit from exercise, both physically and mentally. Just because seniors are unable to get out much shouldn’t stop their ability to stay physically active. No matter what age, exercise has been proven to make people feel good physically so why not for seniors? Boosting exercise and physical activities for seniors is a fine way to nourish their brains and their bodies.
There are many long-term health benefits for homebound seniors that exercise, such as delaying the effects of aging, preventing some diseases, reducing the symptoms of some chronic conditions, lowering blood pressure, regulating balance, increasing blood flow and strengthening core muscles. Exercise is also an excellent way to help reduce stress in seniors who require home care, increase their appetite for nutritious food and trigger thirst, which increases their water intake.
While home bound seniors may face lots of limitations in their lives, exercise and activity should not be one of them. In fact, for elderly loved ones that can’t participate in the activities of daily life, such as walking around a grocery store, taking walks in the park or walking the dog, home exercise programs are more important than ever to maintain health and improve their quality of life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Cranford, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.