We are about to start a fresh new year, and we all realize what that means: time to declare your resolutions! If you are like most people, you’ll start with the best of intentions. But as time goes on and life gets busier, you might find your determination slipping away until you have lost your resolve to accomplish those goals altogether.
This year, why not try something just a little different? Sit back with a senior you love, and come up with a New Year’s resolution you’ll be able to keep together! Healthy habits are much easier to keep for those who have an accountability partner.
An incredibly valuable habit for older adults to adopt is to meet the recommended weekly physical exercise guidelines. Regular exercise for seniors offers a boost in many ways, including:
- Better flexibility and balance
- Improved mental health
- Strengthened muscles, heart, and lungs
- And increased self-reliance, just to name a few
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest a minimum of 2½ hours each week of moderate-intensity aerobic workout for seniors, combined with balance/strengthening exercises. Before beginning a fitness program, older adults should first talk to their doctors for approval and any other recommendations and/or constraints to follow. Then, get started with the following tips:
Start slowly. If a senior has been inactive recently, it’s imperative that you take it easy and slowly build up to the desired activity level. Not only can injury happen by diving in too fast to a fitness program, but it can easily become discouraging.
Be goal-oriented. Goals should always be both specific and attainable. For example:
- Short-term goals:
- Today: Decide what type of exercise to start.
- Tomorrow: Look into local exercise class programs – at the gym, YMCA, senior center, etc. If an in-home fitness program is preferred or more suitable, find an online program to follow. (Remember: simply committing to a consistent walk at the park or around the block is perfectly okay too!)
- By the end of this week: Obtain any necessary equipment: comfortable clothing, shoes, handheld weights, bathing suit, etc.
- Future goals:
- In six months, I’ll have a healthier BMI and blood pressure level.
- By springtime, I am going to be in a position to walk through the zoo with the grandkids.
- This time next year, I’ll be swimming five laps in the pool, five days a week.
Monitor progress. Tracking your progress towards these goals offers great inspiration to stay with it! Find a Monthly Progress Test, along with other practical tools to ensure success.
Celebrate! Working towards achieving goals alongside the senior means you can also celebrate together when milestones are achieved – or simply reward yourselves for taking action to enhance your quality of life. Plan a monthly lunch date or some other enjoyable activity and have fun making memories together!
If an older adult that you know would like some extra inspiration and motivation to stay healthy and physically active, At-Home Care Company’s experts in home health services in Des Moines, IA and surrounding communities are the ideal solution! Give us a call at 515-292-2650 to discover how we can help.