Don’t Take a Holiday from Exercise

Courtesy of the Private Duty Home Care Association

Exercise is an important part of life, particularly for senior clients. It’s a known mood and energy booster, great for the heart, and it helps control certain diseases and ailments, like diabetes. While most people are busy preparing for the approaching holiday, don’t let clients take a holiday from maintaining fitness.

From candy to cake to rich stuffings and gravies, it’s the season for indulgence. It’s also the season in which many people are prone to depression. Exercise can help combat holiday weight gain while generating mood-lifting endorphins that can keep clients from feeling the holiday blues. The following tips can ensure that clients stay active and fit during this busy time of year:

  • Encourage group fitness classes. When people exercise with others, they are more likely to feel encouraged and continue their fitness routine than when exercising alone. Find a list of group senior fitness classes in your area, and encourage clients to attend. Look for special classes that cater to seniors at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or local community centers or gyms, and offer transportation services when needed. In group classes, such as simple water or step aerobics, clients can get in a good workout and socialize at the same time.
  • Follow trends for fitness and fun. Many video gaming systems now offer games that focus on getting users moving. The Nintendo Wii and the Xbox Kinect are two systems that have become trendy tools in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country to help seniors stay mobile and increase coordination while having a little fun in the process. Agencies can invest in a game system and some exercise games, and caregivers can “compete” with clients for some fun and fitness.
  • Enlist the family. With family and friends gathering together this time of year, create an exercise routine that the whole family can enjoy. From walking pets to competitive balancing exercises, caregivers should create a list of fun activities that all ages can participate in.

As always, check with the client’s physician before implementing any new exercise routine. Is your agency taking strides to help clients stay fit during the holidays? Let us know your fitness secrets on the Private Duty Home Care Association’s Facebook page.

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