Tips on How to Motivate a Senior to Exercise

Exercise is important for people in all stages of their life, but it can often be hard to motivate yourself to actually get out there and do the exercises no matter how old you are. If you are having trouble getting your senior loved one to exercise, we at Carefect Home Care Services would like to share some tips with you on how to keep them motivated to exercise. The easiest motivation can sometimes be to explain the health benefits of exercise for seniors.

Flexibility

As we age, many parts of the body start to deteriorate or lose some of the flexibility that they had when we were younger. Exercise is the best way to keep your body in the best shape it can be in and fight the aging process. One of the most important reasons for seniors to exercise is to prevent injury. As people age they become more prone to sarcopenia, which is when the body begins to lose muscle mass. Once the muscles have started to lose some of their mass, the body is more prone to injury because the muscles serve as protection. Those who suffer from sarcopenia and osteoporosis are more prone to falling and getting injured because their body suffers from frailty caused by the diseases. Exercising can help fight against sarcopenia and improve your quality of life by improving your joint and tendon health which can help with arthritis. Seniors who suffer from sarcopenia often lose their ability to live independently because they often get injured or need someone to help take care of them. It is also helpful sometimes to have your loved one’s doctor explain some of the health benefits to them so that they will be more motivated to start or continue an exercise program.

Exercise Equipment

Another great way to motivate seniors to exercise is to buy them some type of exercise equipment. If your loved one has the equipment in their home there is no excuse for them not to exercise. A lot of people try to use the excuse that they do not have time to go to the gym, or the gym is too far from home, or they do not want to pay for an expensive gym membership. None of these excuses can be used if you provide your loved one with exercise equipment as a gift. You can go out and buy a treadmill or stationary bike, or opt for some smaller and less expensive equipment to start out with. If you want to start out with some smaller equipment you can try a yoga mat, some hand weights, or a resistance band. Once you see that your loved one is using the smaller equipment you can go out and purchase the more expensive equipment and get them started on an exercise plan. Helping your loved one come up with a specific exercise plan is also helpful for motivation. When your loved one knows that they have specific goals that they need to meet, they are more likely to actually do the work to reach the goals that you have set for them.

Exercise Programs

If you find that your loved one is getting bored doing the exercises on their own, you can look for exercise programs in your area that are designed for seniors. Working out in a group is often more fun for people because it gives them someone to talk to and interact with so that they do not get bored during the program and decide to look for something else to do. Having people their own age is also a good motivator because that helps them to see that if the other people in the group can do it then they are not “too old for exercise.” Enrolling a senior in an exercise program with younger people can often be a bit discouraging because if they are having trouble keeping up with the rest of the group they will not want to keep going to the classes because it might make them feel old and embarrassed. If your loved one has a good group of friends that are their own age, you can ask them to join the class as well. Even if the other friends drop out of the class at some point, it can still be helpful to start something new with people you already know. Once your loved one is enrolled in the class they can start to meet new people and make new friends. If you cannot find any other seniors to accompany your loved one to their new program, you can always ask if you can stay for the first class or two until they start to get to know the other people in the group.

Private Care

If you are still having trouble motivating your senior loved one to exercise, you can always consider hiring private care to help. We at Carefect Home Care Services offer professional caregivers that will motivate your senior loved ones to exercise by giving them someone to walk with, exercise with and talk to about exercise.

 

Related Posts in our blog:

Exercise Tips for Seniors with limited mobility (2 parts article)

The Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

The Benefits of Swimming for Seniors

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