In this article we´ll talk about the Top reasons why is it important for the elderly to exercise.
Sedentary life and bad eating habits result in damage to our health, especially in relation to the bone system, muscular system, and circulatory system. For this reason, it is important for the elderly to exercise, maintain healthy habits and an active life.
If you are an older adult caregiver, keep these tips for older adult care and tips for older adult caregivers in mind.
Why should the elderly do physical activity?
The older adult must perform daily physical activity, depending on their ability and motor skills. In addition, summer is a season especially suitable for physical activity of the elderly in the open air, because the sun activates functions of the body that provide vitality. In addition, physical activity:
- It stimulates the production of hormones that generate the feeling of happiness.
- Delays aging.
- It is a support for the prevention and recovery of diseases.
- Increases the general feeling of well-being, security and self-confidence.
- Decrease risk factors for diseases such as: high blood pressure, heart attack, hypotension.
- Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides.
- It favors the elimination of waste substances from the blood.
- It favors the oxygenation of the blood.
- Improves and maintains muscle strength. In addition, it prevents muscle atrophy.
- It improves the balance and motor coordination of the older adult.
- Decreases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Measures to take into account before the elderly do physical exercise
Before carrying out any physical exercise, it is better to consult the doctor, especially the person is over 60 years old or if he suffers from any illness, disability or is receiving any medication. Likewise, for the elderly to exercise, the following must be taken into account:
- If the older adult leads a sedentary life, they should start exercises gradually, slowly. You can start with stretching, yoga, or tai chi.
- Sudden exercises that require a lot of effort should be avoided. Activity should be stopped if you are tired, dizzy, or not feeling well.
- You should never exercise immediately after a meal.
- The feet of the older adult should be examined before and after each exercise session for injuries.
- Sudden changes in temperature should be avoided.
- Comfortable shoes and clothing should always be worn, which protects, allows perspiration and provides freedom of movement.
- Dehydration and excessive sweating should be avoided: It is recommended to drink 1 glass of water before starting physical activity and 2 liters of water a day.
- As far as possible, we recommend eating fruit rich in water and fiber, according to the restrictions and recommendations of the specialist.
Precautions when the older adult exercises
While younger people should also be aware of these safety measures, older adults should be more careful.
- The first hours of the morning are the most suitable for exercising.
- Before doing physical exercises and dancing, you should do warm-up exercises (flexion and extension of arms and legs).
- The ideal is to incorporate the 4 types of exercises into the routine: flexibility, stretching, strength and speed.
- The intensity of the activity should not interfere with breathing, nor cause dizziness or chest pain. If so, the activity should be stopped and the rhythm of breathing regularized.
- Physical activity should be carried out gradually and periodically. That is, starting in short periods that will increase over time. The important thing is to keep pace and discipline.
- Walking and exercising should be avoided when it is very cold, hot or after eating.
- Ideally, exercise with other older adults and with caregivers who supervise activities.
- Safety devices must be used: Use of helmets for cycling, comfortable and stable walking shoes.