Ask the Senior & Assisted Living Expert – Chole Kilkenny
Everyday Activities … Exercise in Disguise
You hear it all the time… exercise is good for you. It is important for your physical, mental and emotional health. It makes you stronger, improves balance, controls weight, boosts energy, reduces stress and brightens your outlook on life. Research shows exercise can ward off disease reduce the symptoms of chronic illness and possibly even extend your life expectancy.
These are all good reasons to exercise! However, logic and compelling arguments don’t necessarily add up to incentive for seniors who may be contending with the aches and pains of arthritis and experiencing diminishing strength, energy and appetite.
If this is you, don’t despair. Exercise doesn’t have to be all or nothing; there are reasonable alternatives in between. Here’s an approach that might work for you.
Reframe it! With a goal of working up to a feasible (age recommended) exercise regime for yourself, start by reframing the concept of exercise in your mind. Rituals are actually varying degrees of exercise… in disguise.
Here are some examples:
Housework: Sweeping the floor, mopping and vacuuming are all excellent examples of productive activity. Dusting, washing walls, wiping down cupboard and unloading the dishwasher are useful upper body movements that increase blood flow, improve blood pressure and enhance muscle strength. In other words, moderate housework can be good for you!
Outdoor activities: Aside from the known benefits of fresh air and nature, light yard work such as raking and gardening are activities that can be beneficial to your health and wellbeing. If you don’t have a yard, perhaps you enjoy short walks with the dog or a stroll to get the mail.
Errands and shopping: Perhaps you shop for clothes, groceries, personal items or gifts. Maybe you routinely go out to do your banking, and/or to visit family and friends. Whatever your situation, just getting out and about is good for you. This means you are moving rather than being sedentary.
Any activity that involves movement and doesn’t hurt or stress your joints is likely good for you! Begin by maximizing what you already do, and then, with your doctor’s consent, consider incorporating a few more activities. Remember, there are many ways to be active. Give yourself a pat on the back and keep on moving!
Looking for more ways to keep fit in the comfort of your home? Join us on December 17th at our next Café Chat at the Crossing Branch Library. Certified BoneFit trainer Chloe Kilkenny and our own Recreation Therapies from AgeCare Columbia as they share easy ways to keep active and improve strength and mobility in the safety of your home. www.agecare.ca/Chat