3 exercises you can do with older adults for a stronger bond, better health | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
3 exercises you can do with older adults for a stronger bond, better health  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Exercise is important for all age groups
- Study has shown that exercise reduces risk of physical, mental health issues for older people
- The lockdown due to COVID-19 has been difficult for older people, and increased their risk of diseases
New Delhi: Physical activity and exercise are vital to healthy living. Exercise is known to help keep your physical and mental health at its best. Getting some amount of physical activity every day has proven to reduce the risk of diseases and conditions such as obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and others. Exercise is important for all age groups, and a recent study has shown that older people who are physically active have better physical and mental health.
According to a study, older adults who get higher levels of physical activity and lower sitting time have better overall physical and mental health. The study was recently published in the journal CANCER, and was conducted by the American Cancer Society. Getting high amounts of regular, moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA), and lower duration of sedentary time is associated with higher global mental and physical health for older cancer survivors, and older adults, in general as well.
The effect of the pandemic on physical, mental health of older people
If you think about it, the feelings of isolation and loneliness have plagued the older people the most, especially during the lockdown. Even as they live with their families, children and grandchildren, most young professionals have found themselves occupied with working from home, while students have been busy with online classes. Placed in the high-risk category for COVID-19, older people have found themselves trapped inside the four walls of their homes, with reduced physical activity and social interaction. While the younger lot is still used to passing their time browsing the internet, watching a TV show, or just scrolling through social media, older people believe more in face-to-face interactions, something that has been significantly reduced due to the virus. Older people have also experienced a lack and delay in diagnosis and treatment of their existing conditions due to the pandemic, leading to risk of severe disease and even death.
Amidst all these factors, it is natural for them to feel lonely, which can have an impact on their mental health. Since going outdoors is not an option anymore, reduced physical activity has also taken a toll on their physical health.
Exercising with the older people – Here is what you can do
Given all the factors above, it is important to find some time for the older people in the family, and help them stay healthy. You can find an hour or two from your schedule to help them, and yourself remain healthy. Here are three exercises you can do with older people, that will ensure all of you stay healthy, and will also give their mood a boost.
- Toe and chair stands – Stand at the back of a chair, and with its support, stand up on your toes. Do not exert all pressure on the chair, but try to maintain balance. Keep your back straight. Bring the heels back to the ground in a few seconds. Repeat ten times.
- Upper body stretch – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bending backwards, bring your hands at your back, and try to hold them together. This will help to stretch your upper body and open up your lungs, letting go of all tension in the muscles.
- Lower body stretch – Taking support from a sturdy chair or wall, lean forward and bend your leg at the knee, bringing your feet closer to your back. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat with the other leg.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.