Ring in the New Year With a Plan to Encourage an Older Adult to Exercise Regularly

A woman tries to encourage an older adult to exercise regularly by going on regular walks outside together.

The new year is right around the corner! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? If not, why not resolve to encourage an older adult to exercise regularly? Even better, commit to joining them in a new exercise program so you can both reap the benefits!

Like any resolution, however, it’s easy to start off gung-ho, lose interest, and let the idea fall by the wayside. The key is sticking with it so it becomes a routine that you both enjoy.

The referred care providers from American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care help older adults stay physically active and offer tips to help you start and maintain an exercise program for someone you love. First, let’s go over some basic facts about senior exercise that you’ll need to know.

How Much Should an Older Adult Exercise?

It’s important not to begin or change an exercise plan without first consulting with the doctor. Be sure to follow the doctor’s guidelines, but as a general rule of thumb, strive for 2 ½ hours per week of moderately intense aerobic exercise (such as walking briskly or dancing) along with strength training exercises that build muscle two days per week.

What if the Person Isn’t Currently Physically Active at All?

If the person is more sedentary, you’ll need to start slowly. Again, the doctor’s recommendations are crucial to prevent injury. These tips can also help:

  • Warm up before exercising and cool down afterward.
  • Start with low-intensity exercises.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Keep a journal to note dates and times exercises were performed and how the person felt afterward.

How to Set and Reach Goals

Determining appropriate goals and celebrating the success of reaching them will provide the incentive needed to stick with the exercise program. Help the person set both short-term and long-term goals and make sure they’re attainable. For instance:

Short-term goals:

  • I will call the doctor today to discuss exercise recommendations.
  • I will buy new walking shoes tomorrow.
  • I will begin to implement the doctor’s recommendations next week.

Long-term goals:

  • By next summer, I will walk one mile three times a week.
  • In six months, I will be at a healthier weight.
  • In one year, I will be physically fit enough to go to Disney World with the grandkids.

Both you and the older adult should determine individual goals and help motivate each other to continue striving to reach them. Adjust your goals as needed so they are appropriately challenging without being discouraging.

How Can Home Care Help?

The services of a referred care provider from American, Advocate, or Whitsyms In-Home Care can help ensure exercising is safe and enjoyable for older adults. They can exercise alongside the older adults they serve, provide transportation and accompaniment to exercise classes or the gym, and offer friendly companionship to cheer them along every step of the way.

Contact us to learn more about how a referred care provider can help someone you love become more physically active in 2024 and beyond! Click the link to the location nearest you below:

State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661