Seniors need regular exercise to maintain muscle tone, boost endurance and gain independence. There are several other benefits that workouts render, that keep the elderly living longer and staying away from disease. You should draw the perfect exercise program that adequately suits their capacity and needs. Here are some tips to get your started.
What They Can Do
The primary rule is to only provide enough exercise that will stimulate adequate blood flow to all the vital organs, as well as maintain muscle mass. Muscle tends to atrophy during the later stages of a person’s life. You should keep hard-earned tissues through both cardiovascular exercises, stretching routines and weight training. In the beginning, it is important that you do an overall assessment of the senior citizen first, to ensure that he or she can do all the exercises without much trouble.
Very strenuous exercise can be detrimental to the overall condition of seniors. You need to check their response by listening to their verbalizations and observing how they cope. If you find some negative signs such as heavy breathing, profuse sweating, loss of balance, droopy eyelids and mild to severe pain, immediately stop the activity.
Exercise routines should be individualized, which means that one program is only meant for a single individual. The specific approach is highly recommended since it takes away much of the risk of overtraining. You can also map out progress more efficiently by giving the exact type of exercises, number of repetitions and sets and duration of each workout. Use a log book and fill in all the details of every workout.
Exercise programs should be very flexible, in the sense that the routines and kinds of movements change every week or so, depending on the response of the patient. Your goal is to maintain or boost strength, flexibility and strength, if possible, so the exercises need to be upped as the individual gets stronger and better.
Getting a Professional
If you happen to be a concerned son or granddaughter taking care of a senior citizen in your home, it is always useful to get the opinion of a professional when creating your exercise plan, so you can select the right type and intensity that suit the needs of the patient. Professionals include dieticians, gym instructors, physical therapists, nutritionists, nurses and physicians who will check if the program is acceptable or too strenuous.
During the first few sessions, you can ask the professional to help you in assisting the senior go through the different movements. Proper execution is crucial to attain the various objectives and goals. Professional help is important every now and then, especially during the times when you’re already supposed to evaluate the senior’s response to treatment.
When defining the exercise routine, you can refer to exercise DVDs that caters to seniors, visit online forums and watch videos online. You can also visit senior centers to have an idea how a typical routine goes. Take some tips from instructors and the experts about evaluation and adjusting the routine for the patient. Over time, you will develop the skill in keeping the senior comfortable while giving him or her a truly sensible workout. Be reminded that diet and rest are the other two components that will sufficiently support the exercise program for seniors.