A sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous for seniors and older adults. Sedentary behavior is known to contribute to obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even disability. Overcoming a sedentary lifestyle has numerous benefits and can help improve quality of life and health for many seniors. Gem Village Assisted Living in Blackfoot helps keep your loved one active and engaged.
Seniors may avoid physical activity due to stiff joints, pain, chronic illness and a number of other factors. Additionally, modern technology contributes to a sedentary lifestyle whether time is spent talking on the phone, watching television, or using a computer.
The truth is, physical activity does not need to be extreme, and even small tasks have been proven to have great benefits. Regular activity can actually help joint stiffness and pain and improves muscle flexibility. Physical activity can help ward off illnesses, and can improve moods as well. Unfortunately, avoiding physically activity may actually make symptoms worse over time, making it harder to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Make Small Changes For Better Health
Small changes in everyday routines can help increase the amount of physical activity you get each day. If you are currently leading a sedentary lifestyle, make an attempt to stand up every half hour or so, walk around and stretch any stiff muscles. You may also want to try standing while reading or folding laundry, or walking around your home while talking on the phone.
Walking is probably the easiest way for most seniors to increase their level of physical activity. Walking is a great activity for seniors, and can provide many health benefits. Choose to take a short walk through your neighborhood or local shopping center. While out and about, make an effort to walk a little bit more by parking farther from the entrance or walking between nearby destinations.
Health Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
Regular exercise is important, too. Strength training can improve muscle strength and flexibility and lead to less soreness and stiffness over time as well as improved balance. Regular aerobic activity improves hearth health and can reduce conditions that can lead to diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.
There are numerous options available for seniors when it comes to physical activity. In addition to walking, water aerobics and swimming are great low-impact activities. Diversify your routine with yoga or tai chi to promote flexibility and healthy joints.
Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Ask any questions you may have about exercise, and discuss any pre-existing conditions that may affect your ability to perform certain activities. Your doctor may also have additional advice for safely increasing physical activity, as well as diet suggestions for healthy weight loss if necessary.
Overcoming the Obstacles of a Sedentary Lifestyle
As with anything, the greatest obstacle to overcome when starting a new routine is commitment. If you struggle to stay motivated, consider exercising with a friend or spouse, or join a group. You can also try a variety of activities to maintain interest.
Oftentimes, physical limitations are often the reason we avoid physical activity, even if we know that physical activity will help ease the pain of physical limitations over time. In many instances, this is more of a mental obstacle, as once someone begins a regular exercise routine they have more energy, less pain, and feel better overall. At Gem Village we realize your loved ones have limitations and we strive to keep them safe, while providing engaging opportunities to improve their overall lifestyle.