Once the average person reaches age 55, their body undergoes physical changes that make muscles shrink, flexibility to decrease, and the loss of balance more possible. For all these reasons, when you’re helping a senior loved one who’s aging independently at home, exercise is important for their continued health and well-being. Keeping them active delivers numerous benefits which help counteract those caused by growing older. But if they’re not careful, exercising without taking the right precautions can also be dangerous. To keep your senior loved one happier and healthier while participating in an exercise program, use these exercise safety tips for seniors.
How Exercise Benefits Seniors
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a regular exercise program can benefit a senior in these ways:
- Reduces stress, anxiety and helps combat depression
- Promotes healthier eating and sleeping habits
- Boosts energy levels and self-confidence
- Lowers their mortality risk from coronary heart disease
- Increases flexibility
- Improves muscle strength, stamina and coordination
- Helps alleviate back and joint swelling and pain from arthritis and related conditions
With these many exercise benefits in mind, now it’s time to look at some exercise safety tips for seniors, notably if it’s been a few years since they’ve done so.
Consult With a Doctor
If your loved one hasn’t had a checkup recently, they need to schedule one with a doctor. If possible, attend the appointment with them, and discuss with their doctor the senior’s exercise objectives. To ensure their body is up to the challenge, the physician will probably evaluate:
- Their medical history including recent illnesses, medications, smoking history, past surgeries, and any chronic medical conditions they may have
- Strength and coordination
- Heart and lung function