Posted by: Bert Copple | August 11, 2010

Focus on positives to get seniors moving

It’s never too late to start exercising, and any amount is better than none, according to exercise experts. Getting older adults to start moving and stay moving, though, may be a challenge.

There are many reasons why older adults don’t start or stick with an exercise program, says Dr. William Hall of the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York.

“Many of the women’s groups I work with think it’s not very womanly,” he said. Others have told him they would feel self-conscious running around in Lycra, though he tells them tight-fitting clothing isn’t a requirement.

Fear of falling is another reason some seniors don’t work out, said Amy Ashmore, a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise. “As we age, many changes occur that affect our balance,” she said. “For many people, these changes are scary, and for that reason many older people are afraid to exercise.”

According to a Health Day report, Hall and Ashmore focus on positive motivators and emphasize the benefits of exercise. Hall encourages people to have a goal, such as learning a new skill, beating a competitor in an event or surpassing their own best record.

“The medical evidence that’s coming out now about the value of exercise for everything we worry about as we age, including cognitive disorders, is compelling,” he said.

Body image is also a motivator, no matter what a person’s age.

Hall and Ashmore offer these tips to help seniors keep moving:

  • Focus on “process goals.” This means focusing on the current exercise session.
  • Buy a new bathroom scale. Get one that gives body fat percentages, and set a goal to reduce body fat.
  • Think of exercise as social time. Socialization is linked with health benefits.
  • Accept a realistic goal.

Caregivers can also be an excellent motivator to seniors who might not feel up to the task of exercising. Home Instead Senior Care’s CAREGivers bring the gift of companionship and motivation to our clients, and this can include your mother or father as well. If you have a loved one who requires a wide range of care, or even as simple as companionship, please do not hesitate to call for further information.

Home Instead Senior Care will provide outstanding caregivers to help your loved one with personal care, incidental travel, companionship, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and even meal preparation. To learn more, call 248-203-2273 or visit Home Instead Senior Care is the world’s trusted source of in-home non-commercial personal care and companionship for seniors. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. And remember, to us, it’s personal.


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