How to Encourage Elderly People to Be Physically Active

As we get older, we tend to lose time to engage in physical activities or exercises. People think they are getting weaker, so they also feel they don’t have the strength to engage in physical activities.

But on the contrary, seniors should be more active and exercise regularly. There are a lot of benefits that you can get when you stay physically active as you get older.

Physical activities can slow down serious health problems, regulate blood pressure, lower stress levels, and prevent anxiety and depression.

You’re probably having a hard time encouraging a senior parent to exercise and be active. But don’t worry, with a bit of effort, you can still convince them to be involved. Here’s how.

Tips to encourage seniors to engage in physical activities

Set Goals

Motivation and confidence boosters are a lot more necessary during senior years. Why? Because the elderly’s mental and physical health is not the same as before. So, it would help if you kept on encouraging seniors to set goals that are challenging but, at the same time, attainable.

Start by having a 20 to 30-minute walk each day or increasing the number of steps each week. Then slowly increase the intensity to slow jogging. Provide support for your elder loved ones not only to improve their physical aspect. But also to boost their confidence and their mental health.

Remove Obstacles

Make sure to encourage them with a safe, accessible, and simple plan and activities. Easy to do exercises will encourage them to take part more rather than feel that it is inappropriate to join.

Make them feel welcome to engage in physical activities the same that younger people do. It is essential for them to feel that physical activities are accessible to them.

Be Creative or Imaginative

Physical activities might need modification so that elderly people can enjoy participating the same as young ones. But the challenges must still be there because it is an integral part of the activities. You must be creative and willing to explore things that will capture the interests of older people.

Getting seniors to take part in a new sport will boost their mental health and physical condition. To develop social-support networks, the trainer must collaborate with clients and other support teams.

Consider activities like Qigong. It is helpful towards keeping the joints fluid and helps improve control of arterial blood pressure. Fitness experts will be good role models and must set the pace for our senior or elderly clients.

It would also be a great idea to help them with their diet. Even though they are no longer in their prime years, eating nutritious meals is still crucial. If possible, explain to them their other options like supplements and milk protein for optimum results.

Create Groups

elderly woman exercising

There are places or facilities for elder groups which are helpful for them to get necessary activities or physical exercises.

One example is your local senior centers. They organize physical activities such as dances, walks, aerobics, yoga, Zumba, and other programs to provide entertainment and good physical exercises. They do not just offer programs and organize social activities; they also offer training for exercises.

Other centers with professional and trained staff offer training elders for swimming, square dance, and yoga. These are exercises that are good for seniors.

Careful communication with seniors

When you are communicating with seniors, you must talk with caution. You must be careful in choosing your words. Remember to pay attention and counter any stereotypes against age.

Your approach against aging topics should be friendly and also realistic. Remember that the elders have a diverse or wide range of backgrounds.

It is helpful to include humor in your conversation. It helps people to be more comfortable, relaxed, and at ease. But be careful and avoid dark, racial, and sexist jokes. These types of humor are not always applicable.

Pay attention when you talk with elders. Try to understand their questions and concerns. And remember to ask open-ended questions.

Avoid Excuses

People have so many excuses for not engaging in sports or any physical activities.

  • Lack of time
  • Expensive or waste of money
  • Being disabled or having an illness
  • They don’t like competitive activities
  • Lack of acquaintance to do activities with
  • Lack of suitable equipment.

But the importance of exercise is beyond any excuses. With enough encouragement, perseverance, and creativity, you can get them to engage. But don’t be surprised if your senior parent starts inviting you for an activity that they enjoy once in a while.

Encourage them to watch their favorite show while doing some activities like running on a treadmill or lifting weights.

It is also a good idea to show them how easy it is to do physical activities in their comfort zone.

Address Facts

Do not forget to emphasize the importance and advantages of engaging in physical activities. It’s vital to educate them about the importance of physical activities. Everyone wants to know why we should engage in such things. It is more likely for elders to join you if they understand the importance of what they are doing.

Exercising is a great way to improve one’s physical and mental health. Hopefully, this article helped you find ways to encourage an elderly loved one to be more physically active.

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