About a third of people over the age of 65 would class themselves as ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ active, according to a survey of 1,000 older people carried out by the Associated Retirement Community Operators. About a fifth of these would like to be more active and would do exercise more regularly if they had easy access to gym facilities or even just someone to go to the gym with.
There are two types of physical activity that they’re are recommended to do regularly: moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity. It’s recommended by the World Health Organisation that older people do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and do muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week. Being physically active is a great way to reduce your chances of getting certain medical conditions, and it can vastly improve your wellbeing.
Here are two activities that are easy for those in assisted living homes to get involved in:
Walking is a moderate-intensity aerobic activity and a great way for the more mature to keep active. It’s also one of the best ways older people can improve their health, plus it gets them out in the fresh air exploring the world around them, instead of being stuck indoors. Walking has been shown to reduce the chances of getting certain conditions, such as dementia, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer; it can also have positive effects on your mental health and can help get rid of depression. It can have social benefits as well, as it’s a great way to spend time with friends and meet new people, especially if you join a walking club. Other examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activity that are good for older people include water aerobics, bike riding, playing doubles tennis and ballroom dancing.
Yoga is a muscle-strengthening activity and it’s great for the over 55s because it can be practiced both indoors and outdoors. Those who are currently living in assisted care facilities are likely to find yoga classes readily available either at their facility or nearby. Even if there aren’t any classes, it is still possible to practise yoga easily enough. Just as with walking, yoga has lots of health benefits, especially for older people; not only can it improve balance, joint health, flexibility and respiration, it can also educe anxiety and high blood pressure. Other examples of muscle-strengthening activity that are good for the elderly include weight lifting, intense gardening, dancing, stair climbing and hill walking.
Of course, there are many other types of physical activity that fall under both the categories mentioned above. Walking and yoga are just two examples that are ideal for the older generation, including those in assisted living facilities, because they’re easily done and they’re not too strenuous.