Ways to Encourage Seniors to Live Active Lifestyles

Extended family holding hands and walking in parkEncouraging seniors to stay active; especially during the winter months is extremely important. As elderly individuals age, they often become sluggish, tired, weak, and they can experience joint or muscle pain. 

Not only will promoting a positive physical lifestyle encourage elderly individuals to mentally feel healthy, but it can enhance their social well-being too.

By inspiring elderly individuals to participate in fun, engaging activities they can complete activities or hobbies that they enjoy and stay active in the process.

Listed below are a few unique ideas to help you and your loved one stay active.

  1. Go on a nature hike. Talking a walk through a local hiking trail or mountain preserve can keep seniors engaged while enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors. If you have the time and the right supplies you can even stop at a pond or river along the way and go fishing. This can be a great way to spend the day if the weather is permitting and can be cheap as well.
  2. Participate in some aerobics or Zumba gold classes. This can be a great way to add some light exercise into one’s daily routine that is fun and enjoyable. Join a local class at a nearby fitness center, watch instructional videos online, or even purchase a workout tape. By participating in the activity together it can make exercising all the more fun, but be sure to consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise program.
  3. Visit an art museum or a gallery. Walking around a larger museum such as the Metropolitan can be a great way to gain some exercise while also stimulating the mental side of the brain. Pick a local museum or art exhibit to visit, or take a walk around your community and check out local outdoor art.
  4. Join an organization to help clean up the neighborhood. This can be a great way to give back to one’s neighborhood, meet and make new friends, and physically stay active. Even walking around and helping in small increments can help change both your loved ones and your community’s well-being.
  5. Go bird or animal watching. Similar to going on a nature hike, bird watching/ animal watching can give your loved one the opportunity to enjoy nature, participate in physical activity, and partake in a new fun hobby. You can even bring a book along to help you name the animals you see along the way.
  6. Take a dance lesson. This can be a fun opportunity to hear some music from the past. Perhaps look into local ballroom dancing lessons and sign up to be each other’s partners. If your loved one has a partner to dance with it may make them feel more encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and have fun while being physical.
  7. Learn martial arts. Like an aerobics class, this is a great way to fit in some exercise. This can be extremely beneficial because not only will it allow an elderly individual to be more active, but it can also keep your loved one safe when they are in their homes or walking to a doctor’s appointment, etc.
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  9. Go for a swim. Whether it is at a pool in the summer or at a local YMCA or another fitness center in the winter, swimming is a great way to get the body moving. Some fitness centers even offer swim lessons that you and your loved one can take together. Maybe even join a synchronized swimming class.
  10. If your loved one is still fairly active and just needs some motivation perhaps you can go on a bike ride together. Please consult a doctor to ensure cycling is an activity that would be fit beforehand though.
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  12. Go on a walking tour. Our area has tons of walking tours that can be taken advantage of. Some tours even have tasty treats and beverages that you can try along the way. Check out a neighborhood you do not always reside in or take a walk down one of the city’s famous streets such as Broadway or Fifth Avenue.
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  14. Check out the sites. Visiting famous locations such as Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center is another way to get some exercise while learning about some history as well. While Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge are lovely in the summertime, Rockefeller Center is beautiful when it is lit up for the Holiday season as well.

Whatever you decide to do, maintaining an active lifestyle can lead to a happier existence and even some added fun.

Stop depression and isolation in its tracks and change up your loved one’s routine by adding new and fun physical activities that you both can participate in. For more ideas look online or visit your local library. Additionally, home care agencies may have ideas of their own to help you embark on this new challenge. Please remember to consult with your physician before beginning any new physical fitness routine and ensure that it is appropriate for your loved ones. If you need ideas or more information, please feel free to contact us. At Alvita Care, we provide an array of services for the elderly in New York City, Westchester County, Long Island, and northern New Jersey.