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How Often Should Elderly People Get Exercise?

By , 9:00 am on

Exercising is one of the best things seniors can do for their health, but many older adults don’t know how much they should be working out every week. It often seems like every expert has a different opinion on this issue, which can lead to quite a bit of confusion. Here is a quick look at some basic rules seniors can follow when starting an exercise program.

What the Experts Say

Dozens of different organizations have their own guidelines and recommendations for working out, and seniors should be careful about who they listen to. In 2008, the American Heart Association teamed up with the American College of Sports Medicine to figure out exactly how much exercise older adults need. After months of research, they released a report that recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week.

A Look at Individual Training Sessions

Many organizations give weekly recommendations because everyone has different preferences and responsibilities. Some older adults might want to exercise for an hour or two every few days, while others enjoy shorter training sessions multiple times a day. As a general rule, healthy seniors can break up their training sessions in any way they like, as long as they remain consistent. They also need to make sure they carry out different types of exercises that strengthen the cardiovascular system as well as individual muscle groups. 

Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Huntsville at-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Factors to Consider Before Exercising

Many seniors have underlying medical conditions that impact their physical abilities, which is why they must schedule an appointment with an experienced doctor well before starting a training regimen. During that appointment, the doctor will need to take a look at different aspects of the senior’s health, including heart rate, blood pressure, muscle mass, bone density, and flexibility. 

If you’re a family caregiver and you’re creating an exercise plan for your loved one, make sure to consider your schedule if your loved one will require assistance with exercise. You might also want to consider bringing in a trained professional caregiver. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Huntsville respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.

Good Exercises for Seniors

Even the best exercise plan could be worthless if an individual doesn’t stick to it, which is why seniors must find exercises and physical activities they actually enjoy. Using stretching bands and light weights are great options, but some people find traditional weight training boring. As an alternative, seniors can take classes that strengthen their muscles. Yoga, Pilates, and dance classes are all perfect options for older adults. Endurance exercises are also important, and many seniors enjoy walking, hiking, playing low-impact sports, and cycling.

Hydration and Dietary Habits

Starting an exercise program can have a major impact on a senior’s metabolism and hydration levels. Unless seniors are trying to lose weight, they need to increase their daily caloric intake while working out. Having a protein shake in the morning or a healthy snack in the afternoon should be enough for most seniors. They must also make sure they’re drinking plenty of water, and the easiest way to do that is to carry around a full bottle of water at all times.

Exercise is vital for all of us when it comes to good health and quality of life, and that’s particularly true for aging adults. If your loved one has health conditions or mobility limitations that make exercising alone a challenge, help is available. Huntsville elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (256) 716-9940.