Obviously we all know the health benefits of exercise and keeping active but when it comes to the elderly they need to be careful, purely because they’re older and their joints aren’t as supple as they used to be. The thing is though, they really do need to keep moving for lots of reasons and here’s why…
Gentle exercise is great for the elderly and the older generation, as long as it is just that; gentle. None of this Zumba and CrossFit for your Nan. Gentle exercise like walking, swimming and careful stretching to music can all be beneficial. Improved balance can come with exercise which of course is fantastic to decrease to risk of falls when they’re alone as we know a lot of elderly folk do have falls from time to time. It improves their sleep patterns too which is great as the older generation need a good night’s sleep. Exercise keeps the mind alert and sharp too which is important especially as lots of older people live alone and don’t get many visitors which brings us to our next point: the social side of things.
Joining a fitness group or starting one up may be just what some older folk need. They will get to see other people on a regular basis and it provides consistency and companionship, as well as the all-important fitness needed. Keeping busy and occupied stops elderly people from dwelling on life and stops them feeling lonely and useless. Working out is a natural mood enhancer and so this could improve their overall emotional and mental health too as well as keeping them supple and able to move freely and independently.
Older people must always consult their GP first before embarking on any kind of fitness or exercise routine, especially if they have prior health issues. It’s best to be safe and then if an older person does have an injury related to working out the GP will be able to treat them quickly and appropriately afterwards. Warming up beforehand is a must too as it keeping hydrated with plenty of water. Resting afterwards is key too, so make sure if you are working out with your Nanna or Granddad or in fact any older people you know, that they look after themselves afterwards to ensure they don’t overdo it.