seniors

Best Cardio Exercises for Seniors

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As we age, it's important to stay active. Not only does activity aid us in overall health, it helps with emotional health as well. Participating in some form of exercise is strongly recommended for seniors, but which exercises are safe and effective? Cardiovascular health is important at all points in life, especially as we get older, and there are a variety of effective forms of exercise available which are perfect for seniors. Here are some of the best cardio exercises for seniors.

Walking

Walking is a low impact way to stay active and mobile. Not only is it effective in aiding in the overall health of seniors, its free and helps get seniors out and about, instead of confined to the home. No matter what the temperature is outside, there are places to walk available. Great places to go for a stroll include:

 

·       Parks

·       Gyms

·       Malls

·       Grocery stores

 

This activity is perfect for seniors who wish to stay active, and it has a big impact on overall health and morale.

Swimming

Coined the “perfect exercise” swimming not only provides a cardio workout, it also helps strengthen the muscles. There's little to no stress on the joints and bones, making this activity perfect for those suffering from arthritis. Swimming is also a great workout for the mind, and it's also attainable any time of the year. Seniors can swim in an outdoor pool when it's warm and opt for an indoor pool when the weather is chilly, as many fitness centers offer indoor pools as part of their programs.

Cycling

Many seniors with joint issues get a lot out of cycling, whether indoors or out. Cycling helps with cardiovascular health as well as cognitive health, and it a great way to stay active. Stationary bikes are also available for those who are fearful of falling, making this cardio workout a popular activity among seniors, as it is low impact and safe.

Low Impact Aerobics

There are many aerobics classed targeted specifically for seniors, which include fun, effective workouts that are tailored to their needs, focusing on balance, core strength and low impact cardio. Group exercise programs provide a fun environment for seniors to get involved, stay active and make new friends. From low impact aerobics classes to Zumba and everything in between, there's a class out there to appeal to virtually anyone!

Cardiovascular Health in Seniors

Keeping your body healthy not only helps to prevent illness, it helps to keep your mind sharp and your morale high. Engaging in cardio workouts as a senior is an important part of life, and it begins with finding what you like to do. Maybe you're not a swimmer, but you enjoy cycling. Or maybe you prefer to partake in yoga or Pilates. No matter what activity sparks your interest, be sure to try to stay active and healthy at all points of your life. Your body and mind will thank you for it. reSettled Life does not take the place of your medical professional. Before starting any new type of exercise or workout routine, please consult with your doctor.

How Seniors Can Get Involved During the Holidays

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During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many seniors want to be involved, seeking opportunities to stay active and help the community. It's the most wonderful time of the year, and there are many options for seniors who wish to get involved this holiday season. Whether it's cuddling puppies at the local animal shelter or serving meals to the less fortunate, seniors have a valuable place in society, especially during the holidays. Here's how seniors can get involved during the holidays.

Greeters & Gift Wrappers

Many stores hire extra help during the holiday season. After all, with all of the extra traffic in the store and the need for more merchandise, extra sets of hands are always welcome. Seniors are perfect additions to the holiday team. Not only do they help out the store, they can also get in the holiday spirit and stay active. Many stores hire for greeters to welcome eager holiday shoppers into the store, and it's a perfect way for seniors to bring cheer to others. The great thing about most greeting jobs is that you have the option to sit or stand, so if standing for long periods of time isn't possible, it's not a problem to have a seat and still get the job done.

 Department stores, especially, tend to offer gift wrapping services during the holidays, and what better way for seniors to get involved than helping shoppers wrap their gifts? Spread a little holiday cheer this year and help out your local retail community.

Bell Ringers

The Salvation Army has thousands of bell ringers stationed throughout the country, making this another great way for seniors to get involved during the holidays and be a part of a good cause. Mostly placed at grocery stores, small shops and shopping plazas, Salvation Army bell ringers not only help members of the community get involved, they also aid the less fortunate. Again, if standing for long periods of time isn't possible, there's no problem with having a seat while you're helping to bring joy to others during the holidays.

Other Volunteering Opportunities

Non-profit organizations are always looking for volunteers, no matter what time of the year it is, making this another perfect way for seniors to get involved. Organizations to consider include:

·       Local animal shelters

·       Hospitals

·       Big Brothers Big Sisters

·       Local meal programs

 Volunteering is not only a rewarding experience, it helps to increase morale, while giving back to the community. A little bit goes a long way, so find an organization that you're passionate about and see if they need some extra help. Chances are, they'll welcome you with open arms.

Seniors and the Holidays

The holidays can be a challenging time for seniors, especially those who may not have many family members nearby. In getting involved with the local community, it brings a sense of purpose and joy to the lives of many. It also helps seniors stay active and positive during the holiday season. If you're wanting to get involved, take a look around. You may be surprised at how many organizations are in need of some extra help this holiday season.

 

 

Ways to Stay Mentally Active as a Senior

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Staying mentally active as we grow older is just as important as staying physically active. Mental activity increases the amount of blood, nutrients and oxygen in the brain and slows cognitive decline, which is associated with dementia. Whether your senior loved one is still living at home or has moved into an assisted living or nursing facility, there are several ways to keep their minds active.

Social Interaction

Don’t underestimate the power of conversation. Talking with someone keeps your brain as active as working a crossword puzzle. Interacting with people not only helps to stimulate the mind, it can also improve your mood. If your loved one lives at home, it’s important that they stay busy socially. Visiting with a neighbor, going to church, or joining a senior group can provide interaction with other people and keep your loved one from feeling lonely or getting depressed.

If you live nearby, your loved one will enjoy frequent visits from you as well. Instead of sitting with them in silence or in front of the TV, engage them in meaningful conversation. If they have photo albums, look through them together and encourage them to talk about what was happening in the pictures. If neither of you know much about your family tree, research your ancestry together online and discuss what you find. Or if cooking has always been a big part of your family’s history, look through old recipes and compile a family cookbook, discussing what dishes were served on which occasions and remembering holiday get-togethers and family celebrations.

Activities and Hobbies

Creating something can also be mentally stimulating. These activities will keep both the mind and hands active:

Grow something: Tending to a garden may be too difficult for your loved one, but there are many things they can grow in a container that can be kept on a table or counter. If they like to cook, encourage them to grow an herb garden. Or have them create a fairy garden with small plants and accessories in a glass container.

Quilting or sewing: Creating something with fabric and thread requires reading instructions and following a pattern. And when it’s done, your loved one will have something to display or give to a friend or family member.

Paper crafts: Scrapbooking is a fun hobby that involves creating pages with photos, journaling, and embellishments. If the senior doesn’t want to create something from scratch, they may enjoy coloring with colored pencils or markers in one of the hundreds of adult coloring books available.

Keep a pet: Animal lovers may enjoy keeping a small pet. Encourage them to read about the different pets that can be kept in a container and decide if one would be a good fit for them. A small tank of fish or a low-maintenance lizard or turtle can give your loved one something to care for on a daily basis. If they live in an assisted living facility or apartment, make sure small pets are allowed.

Community Service

Helping others is always rewarding, regardless of your age, and there are always organizations looking for help. Your loved one can crochet hats for preemies, knit mittens or scarves for the homeless, or create gift baskets with baby essentials for new mothers. If they live in a retirement home or assisted living facility, they may enjoy making centerpieces for the tables in the dining room or crafting ornaments for the community Christmas tree.

Encourage your senior to stay mentally active by suggesting some of the above options and taking the time to enjoy a hobby, service project, or conversation with them. It will help to keep your mind stimulated too!