We often get questions from concerned adult children about exercise. And yes, it’s okay for your mom to exercise every day now that she’s living in a residential care home. In fact, she or your dad should exercise. See, most people think that a care home is a nursing home. It’s not. But even in a nursing home, there may be some physical therapy.
Exercise is a critical way to keep both mind and body in shape. This includes benefits for the circulatory system (heart), respiratory system (lungs), strength and balance (fall prevention), and mood (yay!). So now that we all agree on the benefits of exercise, how often should a resident exercise? Is it safe? What exercises should be avoided?
How Often Should the Elderly Exercise?
Elderly folks or senior citizens (as they prefer to be called) should exercise as often as their doctors allow them. For most folks, this is daily. The CDC recommends 30 minutes a day, five days a week. That’s pretty achievable for most people over the age of 65.
Go on a thirty-minute walk every weekday with your friend Alice and you’re both keeping up with health goals. Do ten minutes of yoga every other day and a 20-minute walk Monday through Friday and you’re crushing your exercise goals.
Can Seniors Exercise With Their Friends?
Exercise is essential to longevity and mental agility and enhances our social connections throughout our lives. From team sports in our youth to walking with your fellow mom friends to racquetball with the guys. Many exercise activities in residential care homes are intentionally social: tai chi, yoga, walking, pickleball, and more.
“Perhaps, there’s nothing more than your aged mommy enjoys than to simply chit chat with fellow women about life, about other people’s lives, about their best-kept recipes, and whatnot!” HealthShots
When Should an Elderly Person Stop Exercising?
An elderly person should stop exercising when their doctor advises it, and the break from exercise is usually temporary. A doctor may advise against exercise for 10-15 days post-surgery, for example. Remember when you had to not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for six weeks after your hysterectomy?
People of all ages are encouraged to exercise. There are plenty of low-impact exercises for those worried about their knees including aquacise and chair yoga. Sorry, no excuses from us. You must keep exercising. It’s so good for your heart and your mindset!
What Exercises Should the Elderly Not Do?
Use common sense when it comes to exercise for the elderly and doctor’s advice, of course. There are some exercises that senior citizens should avoid. According to SeniorLifestyle.com, some of the exercise activities on the avoid list include:
- Squats with dumbbells or weights
- Bench press
- Leg press
- Long-distance running
So, staying away from CrossFit or the Rockclimbing Gym might be wise. Though resistance training and light dumbbell exercises are perfectly fine.