Why staying active is important for elderly people
According to the Centre for Ageing Better, “Life expectancy has roughly tripled over the course of human history.”
This is due to many reasons. We live in an age where sanitation is better, we have access to advanced medical treatment, and individuals are a lot more health conscious.
The Centre of Ageing Better further states, “It’s important not just that we maximise life expectancy, but that as much as possible is spent free of long-term disabling conditions.” Therefore, staying active and getting involved in sports can help contribute to this.
Improves mental well-being
Physical activity boosts self-esteem and reduces anxiety and depression. It also increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood.
Staying inactive can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. So, exercising can help maintain a healthy weight and improve overall health.
Meet new people
Getting involved in exercise classes such as swimming and dance allows you to socialise with different people. Social interaction is one of the best ways to boost your mental well-being and confidence.
Maintain your independence
We all want to live independently for as long as possible, which is why staying active can help. It also helps with routine, so schedule a daily walk or a swimming lesson once a week; it will do you a lot of good.
Helps lifestyle choices
Keeping active can naturally have a knock-on effect and encourage you to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as eating healthily and drinking more fluids.
Improves bone density
According to the NHS, it’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have a lower risk of serious conditions, including osteoarthritis, which causes joints to become stiff and painful.
Staying active helps to strengthen muscles and flexibility, therefore improving overall mobility.
Sports and exercise can improve your sleep pattern. Getting enough sleep decreases the risk of physical and mental conditions, so keeping active will help contribute to this.
Enhances quality of life
Staying active doesn’t just help you live longer; it improves the quality of life. It will enhance your mind, body and spirit and preserve your mobility. After all, we all want to be fit and well for as long as possible.
Sports for the elderly to play
Not sure what sport is suitable for you or your loved one? There are plenty of choices, but make sure you consult a medical professional before taking on any sports activities.
Walking around the block, in the park or on a treadmill is a great way to stay active. You don’t have to venture out of your comfort zone and only need to take 15 to 30 minutes out of your day.
Swimming is a popular sport among older adults and it is said to be the best form of exercise for them. It takes pressure off the joints, burns a lot of calories and works all your muscles. Plus, you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
According to Age UK, golf encourages social interaction and routine, benefits your mental health and strengthens your body physically. It’s a great way to get your steps in if you’re not using a buggy!
You can burn calories while dancing the night away. The beauty of dancing is that, at times, it doesn’t feel like you’re exercising. There are plenty of dance classes available that will cater for older adults.
Yoga is ideal for stretching, strengthening balance and flexibility. It also reduces anxiety and stress through meditation. It also helps with blood pressure and breathing too.
Tennis is an excellent sport for eye coordination and balance. It helps with upper body strength and improves core stability. You can even get your friends and family involved, too. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition.
Bicycling states, “Cycling is a low-low impact activity that puts minimal stress on the joints, making it an excellent option for individuals with joint-related issues.” It helps strengthen the heart and enhances blood flow.
Tai Chi is a form of ancient Chinese martial arts and works at a slow pace. It helps with breathing, balance, coordination, and muscle strength. It is also proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
There are plenty of ways you or a loved one can get moving, here's how.
Join a local class
From dance and exercise classes to swimming and yoga, you can stay active and meet new people along the way.
Involve family and friends
Whether it’s playing catch with a ball, tennis or going for a swim, involving family and friends is a great way to keep active and have fun at the same time.
Get a gym membership
Going to the gym doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do a weight training session or run on the treadmill. Most gyms offer classes, too, so you will definitely get your money’s worth.
Take your dog for a walk
Although it’s not a sport, walking your dog is a great way to stay active and explore the outdoors. You can choose to venture out or just go for a walk around the block.
How Helping Hands can help with elderly care
At Helping Hands, we have been delivering elderly care since 1989 so our customers can continue to live an independent lifestyle at home without compromising their routines.
We are also big supporters of staying active and ensuring you live life to the fullest. This is why our carers will encourage you to go for walks, swim and join exercise classes, as it will benefit you or your loved one in more ways than one. You’ll socialise with various people, stay healthy and boost your confidence. If you like, our carers will join in, too.
For added reassurance, our services are fully monitored and inspected by the Care Quality Commission and Care Inspectorate Wales. So, you can have full confidence knowing you’ll receive high-quality care from the UK’s leading home care provider.
Helping Hands Home Care is registered and therefore licensed to provide services by the Care Quality Commission (ID: 1-101671690) and the Care Inspectorate Wales (certificate number: W15/00000831/O001/0001). For more information visit www.cqc.org.uk and www.careinspectorate.wales* All calls to 0843 numbers will cost you 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. All calls are recorded for training purposes.