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ACTIVITIES FOR THE ELDERLY: KEEPING ACTIVE

Added 196 days ago. 12 March 2020

We discuss why it is important to keep active and healthy at any age as well as sharing our favourite activities.

 
As we get older, we tend to spend more time sitting down - on average, adults over 65 spend 10 hours or more sitting or lying down each day.  High levels of inactivity, at any age, is often associated with health problems. Increasing physical activity and exercise can help us stay healthy and maintain independence in later life.

Whether you’re looking for tips on how to stay healthy or for caring for the elderly, in this post we discuss why it is important to keep active and healthy at any age as well as sharing our favourite activities for the elderly. 

Why is staying active important?

Over time, we may find we start to get aches and pains we’ve never had before and have less energy to go out.

Staying active is a great way to boost energy, maintain independence and manage symptoms of illness or pain. According to the NHS, there is strong evidence that people who follow an active lifestyle have a lower risk of health problems such as strokes, heart disease, depression and dementia. Research also suggests regular exercise can reduce the risk of falling in older adults. Other health benefits include:
  • Maintain or lose weight – As we get older, our metabolism naturally slows, making maintaining a healthy weight more difficult. Exercise can help increase our metabolism.
  • Reducing the impact of illness and chronic disease – Regular exercise can improve our immune and digestive functioning, blood pressure and bone density, while lowering our risk of Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
  • Enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance Exercise can improve strength, flexibility and posture which helps with balance and co-ordination, reducing the risk of falls. Strength training can also ease the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Mental fitness is equally as important as physical fitness. Physical activity not only increases the production of endorphins - the feel-good chemicals in our brain – but also increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. It is unsurprising that people who are in good physical shape also tend to have a higher level of mental agility. Regular exercise has great mental health benefits:

  • Sleep - Regular activity can improve the quality of our sleep, which is vital for our overall health.
  • Mood boosting – When we exercise endorphins are released into our bodies, which can help.
  • Keeping your brain active – Exercise can improve brain function and can help prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Exercising may even slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Staying pain-free, reducing your risk of mental illness, and maintaining independence well into old age are important to many people, allowing them to stay in touch with society. Remaining active can help achieve this, and it is not just about exercise.

Becoming mentally fit

Remaining active isn’t just limited to physical activity. Engaging in daily mental dexterity exercises can give us a sharper mind and a healthier body for years to come. Mental fitness is all about maintaining and improving our brain and emotional health. Mental exercises can easily be added to everyday life.

Activities for the elderly

The activities you choose will depend on your own circumstances, but we believe doing activities you enjoy is always best. We’ve put together a list of our favourite activities that encourage a healthy body (and mind!):
  • Walking – Taking a brisk walk is enough to raise your heart rate.
  • Water aerobics – An activity that increases flexibility, builds strength and improves balance while reducing the risk of injury from falls.
  • Pilates – A gentler, more effective way of increasing strength and flexibility in both the core and legs, which improves balance and stability.
  • Playing doubles tennis – A low impact game that not only reduces the risk of heart disease but improves flexibility, balance and co-ordination.
  • Gardening – Whether you’re pushing the lawnmower around the garden or digging and shovelling.
  • Read more – Every time we read a sentence, our brains try to process each word, recalling the meaning instantly.
  • Playing games – Games which test reasoning and other areas of our brains are a fun way of keeping our minds sharp.
  • Try something new New experiences can set us on the path to mental fitness as doing new things in new ways can help retain brain cells and retention. Whether it’s trying a new food, travelling to a new place or taking a different route to a familiar location.

Finding the balance

Staying active is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, however this should be balanced with a healthy diet. You may also find that with all these new activities, you’ve got less time to spend in the kitchen to make those home-cooked meals which give you all the energy you need. Frozen ready meals are a convenient way to get a nutritiously balanced home-cooked meal which makes Wiltshire Farm Foods an ideal solution.

In light of trying something new being one of our recommended activities, why not request a brochure today?
 

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