phoenix senior care

Easy Ways For the Elderly to Stay in Shape

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Though regular exercise has long since been proven to have a multitude of health benefits, many fail to make the effort to stay in shape.  As we get older and our bodies slow down, it can be even more difficult to pick ourselves off the couch for a jog around the park.  Multiple studies, however, show that exercise is extremely beneficial for the elderly, not only does it offset and prevent diseases typically associated with old age, it’s also been linked to improved mental health and higher life-expectancies.  This holds true even for those who have not previously engaged in an exercise routine.  Health experts recommend the elderly engage in a program that incorporates aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility.

Aerobic Exercise for the Elderly

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic, or ‘cardio’, exercise is any activity that increases your heart rate, whether it’s biking, running, or dancing.  Engaging in aerobic exercise is key for the elderly to maintain a healthy weight by burning calories quickly.  To be effective, any aerobic activity should be at least 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity.  The level of intensity any activity has will depend on each individual’s personal fitness level and it’s imperative that whatever regimen you participate in you start at a level you are comfortable and build slowly.

Strength Training

One of the most pressing problems for seniors is muscle loss and associated disease, occurring at higher rates for women than men. Strength is essential to everyday function, from lifting objects to walking up stairs, and incorporating even a little bit into an exercise program will help maintain muscle mass and improve balance.  Using free weights, machines, elastic bands, or your own body weight are all ways you can engage your muscles.  

Strength Weights for Elderly

Flexibility

As a rule, flexibility should be part of any exercise program and no where is this more true than for the elderly.  Stretching will help keep your joints healthy and increase your range of motion which makes you less prone to injury.  Tai chi and yoga are both excellent for choice for improving flexibility, but even a simple stretch routine will help.

Remain Physically Active & Choosing What You Love

The range of fitness levels in the elderly are extreme, some may be ready to run a marathon while others have a hard time getting out of a chair.  Building up an exercise regime will help you get the most out of your movement, but remaining physically active in everyday life is equally important.  For older seniors, simply increasing physical activity may be the first step to starting an exercise program. There’s ample opportunity to choose activities you love, whether it’s gardening or walking the dog.  Developing a program you enjoy will also help you stick with it as will doing so with a friend.   

For more tips on how to keep your body in shape, visit us at MD Home Health, and don’t forget to grab your best mate, get up, and get your heart pumping.


Arizona Senior Care

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At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we have been involved in Arizona senior care for over 27 years. As our loved ones age, it is important to not only think about present care, but also consider being actively involved in healthy aging and preventative Arizona senior care. Making healthy choices for yourself and your loved ones is the best way to prevent ailments and live a long healthy life. It is never too late to start making healthy changes, so here are some easy tips on how to live healthier in sunny Arizona:

Exercise

There are vast benefits of exercise for people of all ages, but an active lifestyle becomes increasingly important as you grow older. For Arizona senior care, regular exercise can help boost energy, maintain independence, and manage symptoms of illness or pain. An active lifestyle also helps maintain or lose weight, reduces the impact of illness, improves sleep, and enhances mobility and balance. Whether you are generally healthy, managing an illness, or feel like you are too old or frail, there are many ways to be more active and improve your fitness. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and exercise 2 hours a day, but take small steps to incorporate more activity into your life. You can easily be more active by going on walks, parking at the far end of the parking lot, or choosing stairs over the elevator. When you are ready for more concentrated exercise, try yoga, a water aerobics class, or tai chi. Take advantage of the beautiful Arizona winter and go on an easy hike!

Nutrition

Making healthy eating choices is a great thing at any age, but seniors should especially make an effort to eat healthier. According to the National Institute of Health, studies show that a good diet in your later years reduces your risk of osteoporosishigh blood pressureheart diseases and certain cancers. A good diet for Arizona senior care focuses on plant-based foods, which means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and some lean meat such as fish and poultry. Limit red meat and dairy, and avoid processed foods and empty calories, which are foods with a lot of calories but few nutrients, such as chips, cookies, soda and alcohol. The American Institute of Cancer Research has a helpful, healthy eating guide called Nutrition After 50.

Arizona senior care provided by MD Home Health.

If you have any questions about Arizona senior care or to schedule a free consultation with MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, please contact us at: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.