Get an Aging Parent to Exercise: Motivate an Elderly Couch Potato

Get an Aging Parent to Exercise

Everyone benefits from regular exercise. However, for aging adults, exercise is an important factor in staying healthy and mobile. While many older adults might join and enjoy a Pilates for seniors group or some other local exercise program for the elderly, there are elderly adults who consider exercise to be a dirty word.

For some seniors, just mentioning the word exercise usually results in the sudden need for a nap. The elderly needs to be more active; a  couch potato mentality is not healthy. Doctors recommend mild to moderate exercise, as a way to help manage existing conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. But, with a stubborn refusal to exercise, caregivers need to become more creative in their efforts to get their aging family members off the couch and motivated.

Exercise Comes in Many Different Forms

Get an Aging Parent to Exercise - shopping

In many cases, an elderly adult may not want to exercise due to ill health, physical weakness, or chronic pain. For some, they simply do not want to turn off the television or set aside the book they are currently reading, in order to exercise.

A physical fitness trainer would tell you that given the elderly’s physical limitations and their reluctance to exercise, you should think of ways for an elderly person to get daily exercise, without them realizing they were exercising.

This is the perfect solution for seniors who are not so thrilled with the idea of daily exercise. Listed below are a few ways to help them get enough daily exercise without them knowing they are actually exercising.

  1. Household chores — putting clean clothes on hangers, folding and putting away underwear, taking the trash outside to the big trash bin and sweeping the porch, are all great ways to get moderate exercise on a semi-regular basis.
  2. Shopping — pushing a grocery cart through a store and helping to carry the groceries from the car to the house is an excellent way to build both strength and stamina.
  3. Checking the mail — taking a daily stroll to the mail box is good exercise.
  4. Pet care — feeding, watering and walking the family dog is a great way to get them out of the chair, several times a day, for a nice healthy walk in the yard.
  5. Yard work — if they love to drive the riding lawn mower around the yard, they will improve their balance and strength.
  6. Personal grooming — taking a shower, shaving and redressing is great exercise for an elderly parent.

Also make a point of taking your parents along with you when you are running errands. Climbing in and out of it of your car is good exercise.

Make Exercise Painless for You and Your Aging Parent

Get an Aging Parent to Exercise - Senior Care

Don’t worry if your elderly parent refuses to do traditional exercises. There are many effective ways to encourage your elderly parent to be more active. Exercises that build strength, stamina and balance can be cloaked in simple everyday chores and personal grooming habits. Their innate desire to be helpful will make it possible for you to assign them simple daily tasks that get them out of the chair or bed and exercising in no time.

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