Steps to Take If Your Aging Parent Refuses to Exercise

Exercise is good for maintaining health in the golden years, but this knowledge may not be enough for seniors to begin exercising. Aging adults may lack motivation, believe it’s too late to do anything about their health, be afraid of falling or getting injured, or have just gotten used to inactivity. El Cajon in-home care experts share a few tips on how to get reluctant seniors to exercise.  

Exercise Together

Many people don’t like to exercise alone, and working out with a family member or trusted friend can be motivating. Consider scheduling regular walks or exercise classes you and your loved one can do together. If not, look for another friend, family member, or neighbor who is willing to become your loved one’s workout partner. Search for a local group of seniors who team up to walk the mall or take water aerobics at the local community center. When seniors team up with others to exercise, they’re less likely to cancel. 

Provide the Right Tools 

If your loved one doesn’t work out for physical reasons, do what you can to reduce his or her limitations. For example, your loved one might benefit from using a cane or walker to go longer distances. If your loved one wants to join a gym or take classes at a senior center, he or she may need transportation. Perhaps your loved one wants to play tennis or golf but doesn’t have the right equipment. Provide your loved one with the tools and equipment necessary to get active.

Find an Exercise to Match Your Loved One’s Ability 

In the event your loved one is living with chronic pain or is prone to falls and other accidents, look into exercise programs that make movement easier. Swimming, water aerobics, water jogging, and other types of water-based activities are easier on the joints that dry land exercises. Many seniors enjoy tai chi or yoga. The local senior center or gym may offer modified versions of traditional exercises that match your loved one’s needs. 

Stick to Activities Your Loved One Enjoys 

Some seniors avoid exercise because they think it’s boring. If this is the case with your loved one, get creative and suggest something he or she might find exciting. Perhaps it’s dance lessons, or maybe your loved one has always wanted to play a sport like tennis or badminton. If your loved one doesn’t like walking on a treadmill, suggest hiking in a local park. 

Start Slow 

When inactive seniors start exercising, they may not be able to get out and walk a few miles initially. Instead, they can opt for a walk to the end of the street. Within a few weeks, it’ll get easier for your loved one to increase his or her distance and speed. Be realistic and patient so your loved one doesn’t get discouraged during the first few tries.

Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional at-home care. El Cajon seniors can rely on Coast Care Partners for all their home care needs. We offer customized in-home care plans that promote health and wellbeing, and our professional caregivers can assist seniors with an array of daily activities. Whether your senior loved one needs minor assistance with daily tasks or comprehensive 24-hour home care, give us a call at 619-354-2544 today.