There are countless studies that prove the health benefits of staying active. It is even more important as we age. As we get older, regular physical activity and exercise will help keep us both physically and mentally healthy. Keeping our physical and mental health allows us to maintain our independence.
At Comfort Home Care, we are here to help your senior. We provide a wide range of senior home care services throughout Rockville, including fall prevention, dementia, Alzheimer’s care, and assistance with the activities of daily living. Helping our patients stay active and energized is often a top priority of ours.
In our two-part blog series, we will share the importance of staying active along with some ideas in which to keep your senior active.
5 Benefits of Staying Active
- Prevent Disease – Studies have shown a decrease in many chronic conditions including heart disease and diabetes.
- Improved Mental Health – The endorphins released when we exercise have been shown to reduce stress and help us get a better more restful night’s sleep.
- Improved Cognitive Function – Countless studies suggest that regular exercise reduces the risk of dementia.
- Decrease Fall Risk – Exercise increases strength, flexibility, mobility, balance, and coordination.
- Increase Social Engagement – Maintaining social connections helps reduce depression and feelings of loneliness. Joining a walking club or exercise class will not only keep you physically healthy but emotionally as well.
Finding Ways to Exercise
For some seniors, there’s a natural tendency to spend more time sitting down as they age. This could be for a number of reasons, from comfort to chronic pain to immobility. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a seat when needed, it’s important not to let this become a default position that keeps you off your feet for extended periods.
As we age, it becomes increasingly important to maintain good circulation and muscle tone, and both of these can suffer when we spend too much time sitting. To fight this tendency, look for ways to move your body. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are four types of exercise you should focus on.
- Endurance to increase your heart rate
- Brisk Walk
- Strength to build muscle
- Resistance bands
- Wall push-ups
- Gripping tennis balls
- Flexibility to help you move more freely
- Balance to help prevent falls
- Standing on one foot
- Standing from a seating position
- Tai Chi
The Importance of Meditation
Meditation is another helpful tool to keep you active in your home. This doesn’t necessarily mean sitting cross-legged on the floor – although that’s an option if it works for you – but simply taking some time each day to focus on your breath and clear your mind. Meditation has a number of benefits, including reducing stress, improving sleep, and increasing focus and concentration. It can be done anywhere, at any time. Until it becomes a habit, set an alarm on your phone to remind you, once or twice a day, to take a break and meditate.
In part two of our series, we’ll share some additional tips on how to stay healthy. To learn more about these tips or about any of our senior home care services in Rockville, throughout Maryland, and DC, speak to our staff at Comfort Home Care at your nearest convenience.