Covid-19 can cause seniors to feel unmotivated, but now it’s more important than ever to keep up with exercise. Senior’s moving their body can help with boosting their immune system to ward off Covid-19. If social distancing is a worry then these workouts can help.
COVID-19 Isn’t Going to Stop You
Here are five ways seniors can stay active while following social distancing guidelines:
If the weather is pleasant and crowds can be avoided, a walk around the neighborhood can provide enough exercise to reduce restlessness and provide mood-and immune-enhancing benefits. If your loved one has to remain indoors, walking around the house or marching in place will increase their step count.
During “shelter-in-place” orders, yoga , pilates, tai chi and stretching will help seniors stay fit at home and improve balance, endurance, core strength and overall mobility. You can find a lot of instructional videos online and some are even geared especially for older adults. Another choice is to join a virtual class which is sponsored by an exercise studio or senior center field.
To seniors too, strength training is important—and it doesn’t necessarily require lifting heavy weights at the gym. Many strength-training exercises may be performed for the elderly while sitting or lying at home. Seniors need only start with their body weight and a few basic exercises. You can use daily household products like soup cans to add weight to workouts if needed.
Dancing is known for its cardiovascular benefits, and is a relaxing, low-impact way to exercise and improve stamina during long days of social distance. Listening to some favorite music could even encourage your loved one to exercise their mind by taking a pleasant “walk” down memory lane as an added benefit.
Gardening will improve outdoor spaces while burning calories and offering a good dose of fresh air for older adults who enjoy being outdoors. While some older adults may not be sufficiently mobile to dig into the dirt, there are other alternatives to reap the benefits of gardening. Potting small plants or herbs to be maintained indoors or decorating an enclosed porch or patio can provide an afternoon’s diversion and keep your loved one moving and active.
How to Remain Safe During COVID-19 While Exercising
Here are a few other safety tips to remember:
- Reduce the risk of falls in the elderly
Exercise on flat surfaces that are free of tripping hazards while wearing proper footwear.
- Don’t overdo it
If an older adult is new to exercise, ramping up a fitness routine too quickly can lead to injury. Remind seniors to start with beginner-level exercises and take it slow and steady.
- Stay hydrated
Older adults can become dehydrated quickly, so seniors need to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
- Keep someone informed
Older adults should let someone know when they are exercising, especially if they are leaving the house or will be by themselves — not just for accountability, but to protect them in case of a fall or another injury. Having a qualified home care professional to monitor and check on your elderly loved one can ensure they stay safe. Also, exercising with them using video chat can ensure safety while providing the added benefit of socialization and companionship.
In addition to finding creative ways for the elderly to communicate during social distancing, it’s just as important they stay active to maintain their well-being. With a little imagination and motivation, seniors can stay healthy and safe during the coronavirus pandemic while getting the exercise and activities they need.
The Victorian Assisted Living and Retirement Community
The Victorian is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.