Some older adults are eager to get outdoors (or at least get their body moving) after a long, cold and dreary winter. After all, being cooped up inside the house isn’t healthy.
Doing physical activity regularly can help older adults develop healthy exercise habits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in fact, recommends that adults aged 65 and above should get two and a half hours of moderate activity per week.
If you have an elderly parent or family member in your household, try to encourage them to step outside their home, get some fresh air and do fun activities.
Here are a few ideas for seniors:
Taking a hike or a stroll are aerobic activities that provide great health benefits. If your senior is physically and mentally fit, walk along the beach, take a stroll along the paths in your neighborhood or community or head off to a nature trail. Walking outdoors pushes the body to work harder, so give this option a shot if this option is available.
Note: if your elderly parent wants to go on a more challenging hike, consult with their health care solution provider if this outdoor activity is suitable or appropriate for them. Remember that you should prioritize safety above all else.
- Swimming (or Pool Exercises)
The summer heat can make everyone uncomfortable. A good way to combat this is to go for a swim.
Swimming can keep your elderly parent or family member cool. This is a good summer activity, as it minimizes the likelihood of injury by lessening joint impact. Your senior can float, swim or do water aerobics.
Classes that offer water or pool exercises zero in on resistance training and aerobic endurance. These group workouts sometimes come with lively and joyful music.
If your senior doesn’t know how to swim or prefer to work out by themselves, that’s fine. They can just walk around the pool in waist-deep water. Just make sure that you or a qualified professional is supervising their activities in the water.
Going on a fishing excursion is a great way for seniors to breathe fresh air and experience the beauty of the great outdoors. You could take your senior to the nearest lake, pond or riverbank and do a just-for-fun catch and release fishing activity.
This activity isn’t too strenuous to the body. Your elderly parent or family member can enjoy the wide, open space that nature offers. When they’re going to fish, do so during the early morning or late afternoon, preferably when the weather isn’t too hot.
- Tai Chi
This light exercise offers excellent health benefits for both the mind and body. Tai Chi improves flexibility, muscle strength and balance. Doctors frequently prescribe this physical exercise for patients with Parkinson’s disease, as well as for individuals who are recovering from an injury.
Tai Chi isn’t difficult to do. It involves purposeful and slow movements coupled with meditation and visual imagery. It’s about as low impact as it can get. If you have a senior who has arthritis, they can try Tai Chi to enhance muscle strength throughout their body.
Your elderly parent or family member won’t need to leave far just to get a good workout. They can get the exercise they need simply by walking a few steps to their backyard. Between cutting plants, weeding, digging and watering, gardening offers light exercise. Tending to plants and flowers is one of the best activities that your senior can do during senior, as it’s disguised as leisure.
Another benefit of growing vegetables and herbs in a garden is that seniors can use the harvested produce to whip up a delicious meal for themselves or their guests.
- Ballroom Dancing
If your elderly parent or family member is looking for another great summer workout, encourage them to put on their dancing shoes. You could enroll them in a ballroom dancing class. Some senior-friendly cardio styles are salsa, swing and square dancing.
If you are unable to find a dancing class in your area, don’t fret. Look for a bar in your area that has dancing and music on weekends
This sport isn’t just fun for all ages. It’s also a fantastic, low-impact way to improve body flexibility and strength.
Although the nature of the game means that your senior will be outside for long periods, golf courses usually offer shady areas. What’s more, golf carts are readily available at many clubs.
These seven activities can help keep your senior physically and mentally healthy. If your elderly parent or family member will be staying outdoors for long periods, make sure that they take frequent breaks, drink plenty of fluids, avoid working out when the sun is at its hottest and wear sunblock.