Exercising benefits the elderly in numerous ways. It lessens the impact of chronic infections, improves their immune system, and regulates their blood pressure. Sadly, as we age, it becomes challenging to maintain the same level of activity. Many people sit back and believe that there’s not much they can do to stay active. This is far from the truth, though! There are various fun activities for seniors that can help them exercise. Below are tips for seniors to stay motivated to exercise:
1. Encourage goal setting
Everyone loves challenges, and the elderly are no exception. Thus, you can help an older person set challenging yet attainable goals, which will motivate them to exercise. For example, plan for a 15-minute walk every morning and strive to achieve that. Lastly, support them to meet their goals by either walking with them, but do not forget to make the exercises more challenging as time goes by. That way, you will keep them motivated.
2. Know past hobbies
Older persons will likely engage more in things that they enjoy doing. Find out about the activities that the senior person enjoyed in the past (youthful life). Once you’re sure of what they loved, encourage them to continue doing them. For instance, if the older person enjoys walking, have them take brisk walks or jog in safe places around the home.
If they relished social activities, senior clubs would be ideal. Discuss their enjoyable activities and moments. Help them in writing a life story of their life’s fun moments. Include photos, videos, and text to create a novel biography.
3. Exercise some creativity!
Think of fun activities that senior persons will enjoy. Let the key challenges remain part of the activities. Pursuits that help in weight loss, blood pressure control, and encourage creativity should be a top priority. Moreover, create an accessible and safe place for all activities, which encourages the elderly to participate more.
4. Offer transportation to fun events
There are various activities that your loved one can do away from home. They may require transport to places like senior centers and other places. However, the lack of comfortable transportation can hinder the elderly from participating in such activities.
Thus, offers transportation assistance to enable the older person to travel and participate in activities they love. Moreover, take advantage of the transportation options available in your community. These include services that cater to the needs of the disabled.
5. Consider a support system
Isolation is an issue faced by many seniors, and you shouldn’t let them feel lonely. But, if you leave your loved one to engage in fun activities, they will probably not bother! Get involved in the initial stages of the new activity. Offer the necessary support to encourage them to continue doing it rightly and safely. Moreover, let the senior persons engage in activities in other seniors’ company if possible for more fun.
6. Inspire a positive attitude.
The elderly may not readily embrace the opportunity to exercise and be active. Many have endured accidents in the past and maybe skeptical about being more active. Ensure that the senior person understands the gains of engaging in physical activities. Also, let them know what this means to you since you care about their health.
7. Communicate effectively
Pay attention to your choice of words when conversing with the elderly. Be friendly and counter any negative aging stereotypes. Also, recognize the diverse backgrounds and avoid racist jokes.
Be humorous because this enables senior persons to relax and feel more comfortable. If possible, engage them using their first language. But understand their concerns, values, and questions. Use open-ended questions to encourage more dialogue.
The bottom line
There are various strategies that you can employ to support senior persons to stay active. No matter your choice of activities, have the older person consult the physician before commencing any physical pursuits. Be supportive and keep praising the older adult for reinforcing the behavior.