Exercise: Before your elderly family member sets any goals related to exercise and to moving more, she needs to talk to her doctor about whether that’s okay.
Odds are good that your senior’s doctor has been hoping she would embrace moving more, but it’s vital that she knows what her limits are and what exercise her doctor recommends most that she try. Once she’s got the go-ahead, she can start setting goals and looking at making the improvements she most needs in order to be safe.
Avoiding a fall means that your senior’s balance needs to be as strong as possible. When your senior’s balance is improving, that means that she’s far less likely to experience a fall. Exercises like yoga can be really strong ways to improve balance. As far as goals go, she may want to do specific routines a set number of times per week.
Part of remaining independent involves being able to get around easily. That means that your senior needs to protect her mobility. Exercises that help her to stay as mobile as possible, like walking and stretching, are excellent ideas. For goals, improving over previous accomplishments is always a good idea.
Your senior might decide to lift weights, but resistance training with bands can do just as much for her. When it comes to strength goals, what’s really important is that your elderly family member is able to maintain her existing muscle tone. Aging adults tend to very easily lose muscle tone, and that’s not what she needs.
Cardio and Stamina
Cardio and building endurance also help your senior’s cardiovascular system as well as her pulmonary system. Walking is great for this, and she can use distance or time to set her goals. The key is to make sure that she’s warming up and cooling down and that she’s stretching to help avoid injuries.
Range of motion and flexibility are crucial for seniors. Yoga is also helpful for this, because it can help your senior to gently extend her flexibility beyond where it is right now. She might set goals related to her own range of motion when she starts and increases those goals as she improves her flexibility.
Many of these exercises can be done at home, but she may find that socializing as she exercises is also important to her. If transportation is an issue, consider senior care providers. They can help her to get wherever she needs to go safely.