It’s no secret that we slow down as we getolder, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t go great distances. Slowing downdoesn’t mean stopping, after all. As we age, exercise and a healthy diet becomeeven more important: ensuring proper vitamin intake and endurance is importantto keeping our aging bodies healthy. So how can we encourage seniors to stayactive when they start to feel tired and sore from the aging process? We’ve puttogether a few activities that will help them keep on going, even when everyoneelse is expecting them to be in their rocking chair.
Housework and Tidying Up
Never underestimate the power of housework. While we don’t usually enjoy cleaning up, doing a bit of light tidying on a daily basis helps get seniors out of their chairs and moving around the house. Making beds, folding laundry, and washing dishes are all things that can be done slowly and without much fuss. Even seniors who get tired of standing after a while can wash a few dishes and then come back later for the rest. Making a bed doesn’t have to be a big production, and there are programs, such as CDPAP that offer help for that kind of thing. So even a senior who is depending on someone else to help them around the house can still keep active throughout the day.
Walking to the Corner and Back
If the weather cooperates, seniors can get out and enjoy a bit of sunshine – which is good for the mind, body, and soul! But what’s more, a walk around the block, or just to the corner helps loosen stiff joints, get the blood pumping, and puts some fresh air in tired lungs. If the weather is not nice, they can head to the mall or local walking track for a few turns around the track. Exercise doesn’t have to be laborious for seniors, but the more often they do it, the better they will feel.
Taking the Stairs
Whenever possible, seniors should opt to take the stairs. If their body is nimble enough for stairs, they can walk up and down them a few times a day. As long as there is a handrail and the stairs are not slippery, there’s no reason why seniors can’t get a good workout by taking the stairs. If their home or apartment building has stairs, remind them to keep the stairs clear of items or debris as they might slip and fall.
Getting Out of the House
In general, just leaving the house is a big task for some seniors with mobility issues. So if the daily activity is just leaving the house, that’s still a good thing. Getting to and from the car or bus might take a while, but any movement is better than no movement. When it comes to reasons to leave the house, there are always doctor’s appointments and the like, but consider that going to a museum or a movie might be a better reason to get outside and walk around in places that ensure they can rest if they need to.
Other Ways to Stay Active
There are many resources and supports available for seniors these days, and many groups and community organizations that seniors can join. Getting together with friends to play cards or do an activity together is also a great way to stay active. When we think of “being active” we tend to think of physical activity, but just being social is also good for the body and the mind. Getting out and talking to friends, seeing family, enjoying coffee or tea, and having a few laughs is sometimes all that is needed to help someone feel young again. And while the goal of being active is to not recapture youth, it is to make people feel alive and there’s nothing like being around people you love to make you feel alive.
Whether you are a senior looking for more ways to be active or you are looking into options for a loved one who is slowing down these days, remember this: do something. Keep moving. Get up and do one thing every single day that will give you something to look forward to. If dishes and cleaning are not exciting, go to the show, visit a friend, or book a bus tour with other seniors. There’s always something going on, even in the smallest of communities, and there are always people willing to help if needed.