Senior Mobility: 5 Easy Ways to Help Friends & Relatives Stay Mobile As They Age
Seeing our senior relatives and friends go through certain ailments as they get older can hit home for us. Someone who was once able to run a marathon now may struggle to get out of a car, indicating the importance of senior mobility. But it's a lesson for all of us; being physically active is beneficial for our bodies no matter how “old” we are. And for those people who struggle to stay mobile as they get older, it really is a case of “use it or lose it.” How can we help senior friends and relatives stay mobile?
Promote Physical Activity
We all need to focus on exercising, and as we get older it becomes more important to senior mobility, but also our mental health. Physical activity isn't just about sports; it can be as simple as walking or gardening, just as long as there is a certain amount of moderate activity. It's important to aim for approximately 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate activity every week.
This can be done in addition to moderate physical activity when you feel ready. Strength training is a great way to work on your muscles, and the stronger you are in old age, naturally the more mobile you are.
Strength training works on improving bone density as well as muscle, this can help those trying to keep osteoporosis and other related conditions at bay. Strength training doesn't necessarily have to involve weights, you can very easily do heavy gardening or invest in resistance bands to exercise at home.
Make Sure Seating is Suitable
While sitting down in and of itself won’t assist with senior mobility, making sure that the seating options our elderly friends and family have access to are as helpful to their bodies as possible is a great way to encourage activity for longer.
At the outset when incorporating more strenuous exercise into one’s routine, it's important to factor in good quality rest (and that’s true no matter what your age is). For example, a riser recliner chair helps older people to get up and down easily and also means they can take pressure off of joints and muscles. Any form of exercise can be taxing on the body at the outset, this is why people need to focus on good quality rest too.
Incorporate Activity Into Everyday Tasks
Some people get into the mindset that they can't necessarily exercise unless they go to a gym and actually lift weights or run on a treadmill. But our body cannot tell the difference between an iron bar and a resistance band. The most important thing to remember is to stay mobile and keep moving.
This doesn't necessarily mean that they have to hit the gym every day. It's important to think that moving a little bit more is better than no movement at all. As such, as someone improves their strength they can make the most of little bits of downtime. Getting up and walking to the toilet is the perfect starting point, as long as the person makes an effort to do a bit more each and every time. This consistency is the key to any form of exercise.
Final Thoughts On Senior Mobility
As we get older it becomes more important to sustain some form of physical activity. It doesn't just improve senior mobility but it can help you to maintain your weight as your metabolism slows down, but it can also reduce chronic illness, and improve sleep.
As such, these can all have a hand in improving your frame of mind. As people get older, there can be increased feelings of anxiety or isolation due to decreased activity. If you have seen your friends struggling to stay mobile, there are many ways to help them feel better, physically and mentally, as they age.