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Keeping Older Adults Active During COVID-19

Older adults are a group that has been hit hard by COVID-19. They are at a higher risk of experiencing serious effects from the virus, and, in an attempt to keep residents safe, many senior living communities have vastly restricted social activities. While limiting interactions with other people is an important precaution for high-risk individuals, it has left many seniors without their typical forms of exercise. 
 
Physical activity is incredibly important for older adults. In fact, regular physical activity is one of the best things seniors can do for their health. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages older adults to move more and sit less, this can be hard to accomplish during the pandemic which has kept many seniors confined to their own homes. 
 
Older adults can still stay active during the pandemic, despite the numerous restrictions and changes. Today, we will explore some of the ways that older adults can exercise right now. 
 

Outdoor Exercise

Even with limited community activities and quarantine, outdoor exercise is allowed. Getting outside has many benefits aside from physical activity, but it is an excellent way for seniors to stay active. Some outdoor activities seniors can enjoy include:
  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Light hiking or trail walks 
  • Outdoor yoga
  • Gardening 

Follow-Along Videos

While exercising outside is great, it’s not always feasible for seniors who live in colder climates or don’t have assistance to go outside. Fortunately, there are also many ways older adults can stay active from the comfort of their own homes. There are several types of instructional videos online that older adults can follow for an indoor workout. Simply search the internet, specifically YouTube, for a free workout video of your preference. You can even add “older adult” for some tailored options. If you or your loved one doesn’t use the internet, there are DVDs with similar content. 
 
Some follow along workouts to look for include:
  • Bodyweight strength training 
  • Yoga or chair yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi 
  • Virtual classes
  • Dancing 

Other Ways to Move

In addition to the classic exercise types, there are many alternative ways seniors can get moving without much impact. One idea is arts and crafts. Even with limited mobility, older adults can participate in crafts that involve a little movement, such as painting. Others include:
  • Cleaning or organizing
  • Playing musical instruments or singing 
  • Making sure to get up and move/stretch every hour
  • Cooking or baking 

Stay Active and Safe

Of course, it’s important that older adults stay safe while being active. Seniors should still be mindful of social distancing while exercising during the pandemic. Additionally, they should check with a doctor before doing any new exercise to ensure it’s safe for them. 
 
At Your Side is committed to helping your seniors stay active and healthy, especially during these tough times. We always take the time to understand your unique challenges and help you enjoy the highest quality of life possible. No matter what level of assistance you or your loved one needs, At Your Side is here to help. Find your perfect caregiver HERE.
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