During this time of social distancing, older adults may feel it is in the best interest of their health for them to stay inside and away from others. Although isolation may keep COVID-19 away, a sedentary lifestyle may lead to additional complications and health problems which stem from a reduction in physical movement and interaction with others. That is why we want to provide you with a few quick tips to help keep you active and safe at the same time.
#1 FIND EASY WAYS TO MOVE
Provision Healthcare says planning a daily exercise routine makes it much easier for older adults to stick to their wellness goals. It is recommended by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services in its Physical Activity Guideline for Americans that healthy older adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, aerobic activity per week. “150 minutes may seem intimidating. But make your daily chores a part of your exercise routine. Walk to your mailbox. How about daily yard work? Ask yourself, how you can move every day,” said Andy Cruz, Vice-President of Pride PHC.
#2 STAY ACTIVE WITH SIMPLE EXERCISES AT HOME
Exercising doesn’t have to be an activity where you break a sweat. Getting that body moving in the simplest of ways counts as well. Exercise will also occupy your time if you feel restless and bored at home. Medstar Health has numerous suggestions to stay active at home including a chair sit-stand, standing marches using a chair for balance, and stretching your body using a chair and wall for support.
#3 CONNECTING THROUGH FUN AND GAMES
“Just because you may be staying at least six feet away from family and friends, you can still interact with other people. You just need to get creative,” said Cruz. We recommend a good puzzle to stretch your mind or playing Sudoku or a crossword puzzle. There are also games you can play online with someone else such as Words with Friends or Bingo.
#4 USING CREATIVITY AS A JUMPING OFF POINT FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
You may not think of arts and crafts as a way to remain active, but as an older adult, any movement can help to keep your body in shape you mind active. Visiting Angels says knitting, crocheting, painting, coloring, or any other arts and crafts can help maintain dexterity and cognitive skills.
We ask you to make sure you are staying hydrated when performing physical activity and to not overdo the exercise. Also, let your caregiver know if you start any new activity, so they are on alert about your routines and can help you to monitor your health.