02 April 2019
Staying active is an essential part of life, especially as we get older. Keeping fit and strong will help in all areas of life and is something that your carer can help to facilitate.
For adults over 65, 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week is recommended by the World Health Organisation. This could be as simple as having a companion to encourage you to do the sports you have always loved, such as a weekly swim or going to bowls. Recommendations for activity ideas are listed on the NHS website.
Also, new sports are now emerging, such as walking football and walking netball, which are aimed at keeping over 65’s engaged in sports they may have played earlier in their life.
If specific sports are no longer an option, walking is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh air and to stay active. With this in mind, a daily walk is a perfect activity to factor into your day with your carer. Try arranging your walk around your activities; maybe lunch in a cafe could be followed by a walk around the green or on the beach. There are useful devices such as pedometers and wearable activity watches that tell you how many steps you’ve taken in a day. Why not set yourself a goal of 5000 steps per day and increase it each week?
Strength exercises are also important to incorporate into your routine to keep your muscles energised. A few examples would be to use a chair to do several rounds of sit to stand exercises incorporating mini squats and two tinned cans to do some upper body exercises. You can see how to do these exercises on the NHS website. Alternatively, your carer can help you to do these, by giving a supportive or steadying hand. They could participate and do the exercises with you to help motivate and make it more fun.
You could also experiment with stretching and strength building activities such as yoga. There are some great free yoga sessions available to follow on YouTube. Chair Yoga for Seniors by a well known instructor – Yoga With Adriene is a great one to get you started.
If you’d like support in keeping active in later life with the help of a carer, please call Chris White-Smith, owner of Promedica24 West Sussex, on 01243 684085 for an informal chat.
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