Non-stop chores around the house, social distancing and even your favorite TV show can keep you from being active. While staying inside curled up the couch has its moments, you need exercise. In fact, your body and mind crave it. And if you’re already used to a very exercise-driven lifestyle, not being able to maintain your routine can feel like a shock to your system.
But how are you supposed to avoid a sedentary lifestyle when a busy schedule keeps you inside or circumstances beyond your control prevent you from getting the exercise you’re used to?
Fortunately, there are creative ways you can get the refreshing physical activity you need without having to hit the gym!
Why is it Important for Older Adults to Exercise?
Before we dive in, let’s review why exercise is necessary for aging well. A study conducted in 2012 found that physical inactivity leads to 5.3 million deaths annually. This is because a sedentary lifestyle actually weakens your immune system and leaves you more susceptible to illnesses, infections and diseases.
On the other hand, leading an active lifestyle can actually help you live longer. Plus, exercise offers additional health benefits, including:
- Improved bone density with decreased risk of developing fractures or osteoporosis
- Improved muscle strength for greater balance and mobility
- Reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes and dementia
- Increased confidence and happiness
How Often Should Seniors Exercise?
The health benefits of exercise are great, but how much physical activity is actually necessary? According to the World Health Organization, all healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise every week.
If you struggle with a health condition or cannot maintain this level of physical activity a week, that’s okay! Just exercise as much as you can without risking an injury or straining yourself. You should also consult your doctor before taking on any new exercise routines or if you have any questions about what physical activities you should and should not be doing.
How to Stay Active All Day at Home
Shelter-at-home orders and poor weather may keep you from the gym or cycling outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop moving and exercising. Here are 4 ways you can stay active while at home:
- Follow Workout Videos. Instead of using your TV to watch shows and movies, use it to stream exercise videos! Many exercise brands like Peloton, SoulCycle and CorePower Yoga are offering free classes, extended free trials and discounted rates right now to help you stay active. You can also use apps like SilverSneakers Go and Yoga Studio to help you maintain physical activity at home.
- Use Your Own Bodyweight. You don’t always need weights, treadmills or other workout equipment to exercise. All you actually need is yourself! Bodyweight workouts like squats, sit-ups and planks can help you stay active and strong. There’s also YouTube videos specifically focused on simple bodyweight workouts for older adults you can try.
- Exercise with What’s in Your Home. If you already have an indoor bike, treadmill or weights, you can use those to stay active when at home. But what if you don’t have those items? This is where your own house comes in handy! Use stairways to do stair climbs and leverage empty walls for wall sit exercises. Or turn a full box or laundry basket into a weight that you can use for squats.
- Get Outside (When You Can). When the weather is nice enough, make sure to get out of your house. Go for a walk, go on a run or take a long, relaxing bike ride. Despite social distancing recommendations, you can still enjoy the outdoors. So on dry days, make sure you get your exercise done outside and breathe in the fresh air!
Living an Active Lifestyle at Fellowship Senior Living
At Fellowship Senior Living, we take your physical wellness as seriously as you do. As a resident, you have access to our BRAVO Wellness program that’s customized to your interests, lifestyle and exercise needs. From classes on strength, flexibility and balance to yoga and meditation, there’s countless ways to stay active on our campus. You can even work with a personal wellness coach to help you maintain the level of activity and engagement you want.
“It’s really just about meeting the residents where they are and figuring out how we can provide value, promote wellness and health, and look at those things and do them,” said Fellowship Senior Living Wellness Director Andrew Van Orden.
And to help keep residents safe and practice proper social distancing during the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, our wellness staff is broadcasting classes through the campus TV channel. This helps our residents stay active, while also keeping them healthy and safe during this time.