Staying Fit While Staying Home

Coronavirus has changed how we engage with the world around us in more ways than we ever imagined. Yet even as some parts of the country reopen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise older adults to remain at home to stay protected from COVID -19.

Older adults can become sedentary as challenges associated with aging and illness restrict physical mobility. Staying indoors for long periods of time during the coronavirus pandemic represents an even greater challenge to older adults whose health can be negatively impacted by the lack of physical activity.

Exercise not only improves health, strength and energy in older adults, it elevates mood – something we all need during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are facing long stretches of isolation, these four tips may help motivate you or your loved one to start moving:

Dancing

People often overlook dancing as a form of exercise, yet dancing is so effective at improving physical health that it was deemed an “intervention” by health professionals.

In fact, a recent study suggests that all types of dance can create positive health benefits, including significant improvement in flexibility, muscular strength, balance, and cardiovascular endurance in older adults.

Plus, unlike the repetitive nature of typical exercise routines and motions, dancing is a versatile activity that can be personalized to fit your musical tastes and heritage.

From ballroom to contemporary and cultural dancing styles – music and dance have a positive effect on your health. Music has also been proven to improve memory, cognition and mood.

Fitness Videos

A search on youtube.com will yield thousands of fitness videos that you can use at home in your living room or anywhere you feel comfortable.

Chronic pain can be alleviated with mild to moderate physical activity. Cardio workouts are perfect for heart health. Stretching exercises help with flexibility and balance. Circulation exercises can help ward off complications from surgery.

Whatever your focus or ability level may be, there will be a video you can use to help guide an in-home workout – either seated or standing. Whether five minutes or 30, your body will thank you.

Here’s a few exercise videos to get started in your search:

Go4Life Exercise Videos from the National Institute On Aging

10 Minute Workout for older adults for strength, flexibility and balance

Standing Pilates for Seniors to help with stiffness in the joints

Standing Cardio Exercises for Seniors to raise the heart rate for heart health

Seating Stretching and Yoga for Seniors to keep your body flexible

Five Minute Knee Strengthening for knee pain

Circulation Exercises to help prevent deep vein thrombosis

Six Exercises for Knee Osteoarthritis to assist with mobility

Exercise Apps

The emergence of free online workout programs has redefined the fitness industry in response to gyms and fitness centers shuttering.

If going for your usual walk is no longer an option or makes social distancing difficult, exercise apps help older adults add exercise to their daily routine.

But not all apps are free and some require a subscription. This article from Senior Outlook Today compiles the best free exercise apps for older adults.

Stretching

Physical activity does not have to be strenuous to improve your health! Since older adults are at greater risk of injury, a gentle exercise routine like seated stretching can be easily customized to any level of mobility.

Spending more time at home sitting or watching screens for long periods of time may cause stiffness in the joints, hips and shoulders. Simple stretching is a gentle form or exercise used to relieve joint stiffness and muscle tension.

SilverSneakers offers this practical tutorial for stretching if you are just getting started.

Physical Activity for Older Adults

The CDC’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends older adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity and at least two days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.

While it is never too late to start exercising, your health can influence the style and type of exercise that is safe for you. Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Keeping residents safe at Sonata Senior Living is our number one priority. To learn more about Sonata’s enhanced safety guidelines, contact us today or schedule a virtual tour.

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