Many aging adults don’t understand how unhealthy it is to spend most of their time sitting or lying down. The World Health Organization suggests a sedentary lifestyle is one of the primary causes of death in populations around the world. Learn about some of the physical and mental health issues seniors can experience when they lead sedentary lifestyles, which includes sitting too much.
Loss of Bone Density
Osteoporosis is an extremely common condition among seniors. Some instances of osteoporosis have a genetic component, but aging adults can strengthen their bones by exercising regularly. Encourage your older parent to do weight-bearing exercises that increase bone density, such as dancing and traditional weight training.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Type 2 Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 25 percent of adults older than 65 have prediabetes or diabetes. Consuming a healthy diet is the primary way to prevent diabetes, but exercise also plays an important role. Seniors can benefit from low-impact activities such as swimming and riding stationary bikes. Many community senior centers host exercise classes, which offers the added benefit of socialization.
Aging adults are susceptible to depression, which makes it very important to get regular exercise. When your loved one exercises, his or her body produces endorphins, which are chemicals that balance hormone levels and boost happiness. Encourage your parent to go for walks in the park and get some much-needed fresh air and sunlight. You can also suggest other outdoor activities, such as bird-watching and gardening.
Being obese increases the risk of a variety of disorders and diseases. Extra body weight puts an enormous amount of pressure on the lungs, heart, and joints. Encourage your loved one to lose weight by exercising for at least 20 minutes every day. The exercise can be as simple as walking to the corner café for a cup of coffee or tending a vegetable and herb garden in the backyard.
Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Sacramento homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Memory Loss & Dementia
When seniors are physically active, they boost their circulation and increase the flow of essential oxygen and nutrients to their brains. Sitting too much can impede circulation and cause older adults to develop issues that lead to memory loss. Seniors who are sedentary are at higher risk for developing dementia than those who engage in physical activity on a regular basis.
One of the main risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is chronic insomnia. Older adults need to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, and exercising is one of the most effective ways to enhance the circadian rhythm, which is the body’s mechanism for controlling sleep and wakefulness. Increasing the heart rate and working the muscles at the same time every day can help the body stay accustomed to a regular sleep schedule. In general, older adults shouldn’t exercise after sundown or right before bed because it could negatively affect their ability to sleep.
Some Types of Cancer
Research suggests regular exercise can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer. If your parent doesn’t feel comfortable exercising independently, join him or her for a few minutes of stretching or a daily walk around the block. Your loved one may need to start off slowly to prevent injuries, so encourage him or her to exercise for 5 or 10 minutes a day at first and increase the time as his or her balance, coordination, and stamina are strengthened.
Encouraging older adults to remain physically active can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Sacramento, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at (916) 706-0169 today.