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How to Keep Seniors Active? 9 Tips to Keep Your Parents More Active

As our parents age, we often find ourselves worrying about their health—both physical and mental. Our worries sometimes translate into unpleasant conversations with our elders; we might come across as impatient and irritable. We might struggle to understand why they are not committed to being more active, often being oblivious to their pace of walking through their old age.

How to Help your Parents be More Active

As caregiving children, we wish to empower our elder parents to enjoy the benefits of an active and fulfilling life well into their golden years. However, motivating aging parents to embrace physical activity can sometimes be challenging.  At Samarth, we infuse positivity and confidence among the elderly through a community that encourages active engagement. Here we bring you some ways for seniors to stay active and guide your parents and elders to gradually step out of their comfort zones, engage with others, and choose an active path—a recipe for happiness.

1. Understand Their Preferences for Keeping Seniors Active

It’s a good idea to take some time to understand your parents’ preferences and interests. Do they enjoy gardening, dancing, swimming, or a stroll in the park? Picking out a few physical activities your elders love and enjoy can help them stick with it in the long run and improve their quality of life.  Additionally, knowing their preferences can make the introduction of new activities less intimidating and more enjoyable for them. You might find that their hobbies from younger years can be adapted to their current abilities, providing both nostalgia and exercise.

2. Set an Example to Make Your Parents Active

A good idea to encourage your parents to be more active is by leading by example. Attend a fitness class, go for a walk, and engage in outdoor activities. Begin by showing them the importance of regular exercise by incorporating physical activity into your daily routine.  Have them see firsthand how staying active benefits your health and well-being. By doing so, you not only promote physical activity but also strengthen your bond with your parents through shared experiences and goals.

3. Add Variety & Make It Social for Active Senior Citizens

Encourage your parents to join group exercise classes, walking clubs, or recreational sports teams so they can meet and make friends with similar interests. Social interaction can enhance their experience, as can diverse physical activities like:
  • Balance exercises
  • Water aerobics
  • Strength training
  • Flexibility exercises
Incorporating a social element into their routine can make exercise feel less like a chore and more like a fun, community-based activity. These activities are great ways for seniors to stay active and engaged.

4. Start Slow As Elder’s Safety Matters 

It’s best to avoid pushing your elderly parents too hard, as this could lead to frustration or injury. Instead, focus on slow progress, and don’t forget to celebrate every small milestone.  Set realistic goals based on their health condition and fitness levels. Recognizing and celebrating their achievements, no matter how small, can provide them with a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to continue.

5. Eliminate Roadblocks to Encouraging Elderly Parents to Stay Active

Work with your parents to identify any barriers preventing your elders from being more active. Barriers could mean fear of injury, financial constraints, lack of transportation, or physical limitations. Hear them out and work together to find solutions and eliminate any roadblocks standing in the way.  The solutions could vary from investing in assistive devices to seeking to arrange gym memberships or recreational activities. Sometimes, minor adjustments in their living environment or schedule can make a significant difference in their ability to stay active.

6. Incorporate Technology for Active Senior Citizens

Introducing your parents to fitness technology can also be beneficial. Devices like fitness trackers can help monitor their activity levels, set goals, and track progress.  Many apps offer guided exercises and virtual classes that can be done from the comfort of home. This can be particularly useful for those who may not feel comfortable attending group classes initially.

7. Have Patience with Your Elderly Parents

Keep in mind that change doesn’t happen overnight. Offer your parents and elders in the family unconditional support as they embrace their new, active lifestyle. If they lose heart, remind them of the benefits they’ll experience—such as increased energy, better sleep, a happier mood, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.  Try to be their biggest cheerleader. Stay positive and supportive as you gently encourage them every step along their journey. Encouragement can also come in the form of joining them in their activities, thus providing company and motivation.

8. Educate and Inform on How to Keep Seniors Active

Providing your parents with information about the benefits of physical activity can also be motivating. Share articles, videos, and other resources that explain how regular exercise can improve their health and quality of life Sometimes, understanding the ‘why’ behind an activity can be just as important as the activity itself. Knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions about their health.

9. Involve the Whole Family in Keeping Seniors Active

Making physical activity a family affair can be incredibly motivating. Plan family outings that involve physical activities like:
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • A Day at the Park
This not only promotes fitness but also strengthens family bonds. Engaging the whole family in physical activities can make the experience more enjoyable and less isolating for your parents. By incorporating these strategies, you can help your parents lead a more active and fulfilling life. Remember, the goal is to encourage and support them, making their journey to an active lifestyle enjoyable and sustainable.

How Samarth Can Help

At Samarth, we understand the challenges that come with encouraging elderly parents to stay active. Our dedicated elder care services are designed to support both seniors and their families in fostering a more active and engaged lifestyle. Through our community-driven approach, we offer a variety of activities and programs tailored to the interests and abilities of our elders.  Our compassionate team is committed to creating a positive, encouraging environment where your aging parents can thrive. By integrating physical activity with social interaction, we ensure that every senior finds joy and fulfillment in their daily routines. Let Samarth be your partner in promoting a healthier, more active lifestyle for your loved ones, helping them live their golden years to the fullest.

What are some fun activities to keep seniors active?

Seniors can enjoy activities such as dancing, gardening, swimming, and yoga. These activities not only promote physical fitness but also provide mental stimulation and social interaction, making them enjoyable and beneficial for overall well-being.

How often should seniors engage in physical activity?

It's recommended that seniors engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.

What are simple exercises for seniors with limited mobility?

Chair exercises, light stretching, and water aerobics are excellent options for seniors with limited mobility. These activities can help improve flexibility, strength, and circulation without putting too much strain on the body.

How can I help my elderly parents overcome their fear of exercise?

Start with gentle, low-impact activities they enjoy, provide encouragement, and celebrate their progress. You can also consult with a healthcare professional to ensure their exercise routine is safe and appropriate for their health condition.

Why is social interaction important for seniors' physical activity?

Social interaction enhances motivation, reduces feelings of isolation, and makes physical activity more enjoyable. Joining group classes or clubs can help seniors build friendships and stay committed to an active lifestyle.

How can technology aid in keeping seniors active?

Fitness trackers, exercise apps, and virtual classes can help seniors monitor their activity levels, set goals, and stay motivated. These tools provide guidance and flexibility, making it easier for seniors to maintain an active lifestyle from home.

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