With the increasing life expectancy among the population, there has been a growing concern whether certain lifestyle choices like exercise are associated with optimal quality of life. Long-term exercises or physical activities revitalize our well-being and nourishes the body with positive energy. Studies have shown that physical activities with its own sub-categories like exercise, leisure-related activity or even sports have been established as a protective factor for chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes or hormonal disorders. It is also associated with improved mental health function and physical fitness, in the long run. Any amount of exercise is encouraged since it’s a better alternative than sitting idle
Seniors are prone to various underlying health concerns and mental health deterioration. Promoting physical activities among seniors is the Virtus cares’ main objective and our care workers are trained accordingly to recognize key exercise components for every individual. Our activity goals are meticulously outlined to identify restrictions, key routines differing in intensity and frequency, and provide optimal solutions. Since seniors have poor muscle coordination aerobic exercise, flexibility, and balancing practices are prioritized. (Langhammer et al., 2018)
Yoga is an ancient practice that integrates your mind and soul as one complex entity. Although it originated from Chinese philosophy, this practice has notably gained popularity worldwide. The elements of yoga constitute a series of flexible postures with meditative motions including deep breaths (pranayama). These practices help to ease the mind from external stressors and studies have shown the posture building exercises help alleviate back pain. Seniors are more inclined towards muscle aches, back pain from improper posture, or postmenopausal complications including osteoporosis among women. Therefore, certain yoga practices include; (How Senior Citizens Can Enjoy Yoga in Their Golden Years, n.d.)
Downward dog pose
Baby cobra pose
Mukasana and a simple namaste pose
Yoga may be a welcoming change to a senior’s sedentary lifestyle. This fundamental technique improves one’s mental health, diverting their mind from anxiety triggers. One study also demonstrates the positive impact on senior patients with chronic back pain, it significantly improved their quality of life. Additionally, certain weight control programs utilize yoga practice which can be beneficial for obese seniors, reducing the risk factor of weight-related health conditions.
According to NHS, it has been recommended that seniors must perform 150 minutes of moderate activity or 5 minutes of vigorous activities every week (Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults, 2018). Aerobic exercise is an excellent practice one can integrate into their routine, aerobic exercise intensity can differ according to your mood or capability. Moderate aerobic exercises include brisk walk; you can enjoy the gentle warmth of the sun or even take your pet out for a walk to make it more pleasant. Dancing, bicycle rides, or hiking are all categorized under moderate aerobic exercises. Alternatively, if you are generally an active senior then vigorous activities can be more entertaining including fast swimming, martial arts, or contact sports. Virtus caregivers and staff will help you recognize your body’s need, since elderlies are more vulnerable to injuries avoid pushing beyond the limit.
Senior adults who are unable to perform full-body exercises due to limited mobility or neurological disease like Parkinson’s, are encouraged to incorporate light upper body exercises in their routine. Shoulder lifts, neck exercises, and wrist flexibility all account in lightweight exercises. You can use filled water bottles as improvised dumbbells for biceps training or even move your legs around if you cannot adhere to long bouts of lower body exercises. Caregivers are aware of their predicament and will help assimilate them into this routine. Physical fitness is important in all aspects of age regardless of their current health condition.
Individuals with arthritis or tremors can be subjected to simple stretches for maintaining flexibility and balancing exercises. Our specialized training staff can effectively accommodate seniors who require special needs.
Virtus Care is fully regulated by the Care Quality Commission which is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. As quoted in our CQC report: A person using the service told us, "I have the best carers in Britain. They know how to deal with my mental health issues, they support me, they calm me down."