There are a lot of disadvantages associated with inactivity and lack of exercise, several cardiovascular diseases may arise from insufficient exercise.
Senior citizens are not exempted. They can get the negative effects of immobility and decreased physical activity. Examples of some dangers associated with inactivity in the elderly, as well as, steps advised to counter these dangers are explained in this article.
Advantages of physical activity in senior citizens
When senior citizens are not denied mobility and exercise, it affects them, and society in many positive ways. Some of the major advantages of an active older population include, but are not limited to the following:
- Improved health system
Judging by the preceding paragraphs, the health effects of adults' inactivity cannot be overemphasized. Aside physical and cardiovascular diseases, adults who don't contribute actively, or exercise, are more prone to memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.
Simple exercises and social interaction can greatly reduce these risks, keeping the adults away from great dangers.
- Improvement in mood
Most people are fond of keeping the aged locked in their homes; denying them access to an active social life. This results in mood swings and disposition in the elders. In severe cases, depression may set in.
Therefore, adults should be kept socially active for a psychologically and emotionally active senior population. Providing mobility aid to elders with walking challenges will go a long way in solving this problem.
Signing the elders up for interactive social groups, and even elderly dating groups can greatly help improve their mood; thus, keeping them healthy.
- Encourages positive participation in society
Elders provided with much attention could help make society better with useful advice. They are mostly freer and can volunteer to contribute positively to society. They also feel fulfilled and happy that they are not abandoned and useless, and this especially help the elderly battling with depression and related health issues.
Activities like gardening, or even storytelling could be seen as a useful contribution and will be greatly appreciated by community members.
- Increases their ability to live independently: Senior citizens are mostly dependent on caregivers. The workload of these caregivers can be reduced if the elders partake in more physical activities.
- Decreased risk of falls: Senior citizens are most prone to falls. These falls are most injurious, causing long-term fracture and dislocations, and sometimes, fatal.
However, exercise and physical activities give them the muscle flexibility that’s capable of reducing the occurrence of falls and improving their overall balance and coordination.
How to help elderly adults stay active
When adults age, they’ll need special help to stay active. Here are some examples of instances where elders need help and how you can encourage them to exercise and improve their physical activities.
- Some adults are faced with physical mobility challenges, and this can be corrected by getting needed walking supports like wheelchairs or walkers.
- Senior adults faced with health challenges will find it helpful to get necessary medical care, while those faced with emotional challenges might only need the support of the family, and in severe cases, a therapist.
- Look into local classes they might enjoy participating in. There are special gyms and leisure centers specifically for the aged. Senior citizens who tend to be creative can be enrolled in specific classes to improve their productivity.
Helping them to identify what physical activities they can participate in, and also getting them started is crucial. Below are some physical activities senior citizens can engage in to boost health, and productivity.
Physical activity Ideas for seniors
Having known the importance of physical activities in elderly citizens, it will be great to also know examples of physical activities they can engage in, to enjoy these benefits.
In this section, we’ll go over some excellent physical activity ideas that will keep senior citizens happily engaged.
- Regular exercise: While this is very beneficial to young and older adults alike, it is nonetheless one physical activity idea that can’t be missed. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean running a marathon, simple activities like seated exercises, and chair yoga are also great.
However, getting some serious exercise is not a bad idea too, provided it is within their tolerance level.
- Playing games: Playing games might seem unpopular amongst elders, but some are great players. From simple card games to more engaging activities like video games, playing games are always beneficial, and fun.
- Exploring the outdoor space: Senior citizens don’t have to be locked up in an uninteresting home. They should be also allowed to rest outdoors, and even accompany others to go shopping. Going outdoors increases mood, and encourages social interaction.
- Creativity: Some senior citizens might prove productively creative. Whether its story writing, drawing, or even knitting, all creative activities can help senior citizens live more productive and healthy lives. Identifying the creative talents of every senior citizen, and helping them with it remains the responsibility of every caregiver.
- Walking exercises: As elders age, they decline in stability and become increasingly prone to falls. Regular exercise and physical activity can reduce risks of falling, and walking exercises do a great job of that.
Simple walking exercises like sideways walking, backward walking, and toe walking all prove helpful in promoting stability. Elders who require walking support should be provided with walkers and wheelchairs, as needed.
- Hiking: Elders love sightseeing too, and they shouldn’t be left out when everyone is going hiking. While they will need to be provided with special equipment for support, hiking is also an exciting experience that will help promote their social life.
The inactivity of adults in society is already a great challenge that needs devotion. Unless we give the desired attention, our adults' physical, medical, and social lives will continue to be threatened.
Providing the right mobility equipment, as well as, the needed support, will help them live impactful and happy lives, giving their most to society.