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Keep it Moving this Summer: Ideas for Keeping the Elderly Active

By July 14, 2014Aging in Place

Summer offers seniors a perfect excuse to get out of the house and spend some time outdoors. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the whole world seems to exude life. Instead of taking these beautiful summer days for granted, why not encourage seniors to take advantage of them and boost their health at the same time?

With ageing bones and muscles, vigorous workouts are no longer an option for most older adults. However, some physical activity on a regular basis will help seniors stay healthy, fit and happy.
Here’s a look at some age-appropriate summer activities:

  • Take a dive: For seniors, swimming and water aerobics are an excellent option. Caregivers should call local recreation centers and ask about classes and options provided to the area’s older population. Many offer swimming and/or aerobics classes for free or at an extremely discounted rate.
  • Just start walking: Though it may not feel like it, walking at a normal pace for 20 to 30 minutes at a time is a wonderful way for seniors to boost health. Be mindful of the terrain, however. With summer temperatures climbing into the 90s, older adults should not overheat or become dehydrated. Try to choose a route that does not include steep inclines or hills; sticking to a level grade is the best idea. Many senior centers organize group walks and offer the added benefit of socialization.
  • Get serious with a personal trainer: Believe it or not, there are plenty of personal trainers out there who specialize in training seniors. And there’s no reason to go to the gym to work with one of these exercise gurus – most will happily come to a client’s home and develop a targeted workout routine that is safe, effective and fun. What’s more, most of the exercises that personal trainers recommend for older clients don’t require special equipment or tools.
  • Soaking up some culture: Another fun and effective way for seniors to keep it moving this summer is by visiting outdoor cultural events or festivals. Not only do these events provide older adults with some beneficial socialization and quality time with friends and family members, they also encourage lots of movement. Walking through a large outdoor festival, moving from one vendor to the next, most people don’t even realize how many steps they’re taking in the span of two or three hours.

Image Credit http://www.cancercarenorthwest.com/app/webroot/files/fck_uploads/BikingCouple1_000006142353Medium.jpg

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