About 31 million American seniors don’t get enough exercise.
But just because seniors are older than they used to be doesn’t mean exercise shouldn’t be a priority. Finding the motivation to exercise, on the other hand, can be difficult for the elderly.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide. These tips will help you get the senior in your life excited about staying active and working out.
If you aren’t sure how to introduce exercise into your loved one’s lifestyle, make sure you keep reading below.
1. Show Them What to Do
The seniors in your life might not be able to move the way they used to when they were younger. They can’t just hop on a treadmill and run a few miles or pick up 20-pound weights anymore. Because of this, they may simply not know how to exercise.
Spend some time doing some research on good exercises for the elderly on your own. Then when you have several options, show them to your loved one and have them pick the ones they’re interested in the most. After that, pick a day to teach them how to do the workouts.
You should also think about what the seniors in your life already enjoy and incorporate it into their workouts.
Do they like taking walks? Have them go on a short, 10-minute walk every day. Do they like watching TV? Teach them some sitting exercises they can do during commercial breaks.
Once they know what they can do, seniors may be much more interested in exercising. You might not have to do much more to motivate them.
However, some seniors may need a bit more of a push. Here’s what you should try next.
2. Help Them Set Goals
Setting goals can play a big role in giving seniors the motivation to exercise.
But they may need help coming up with these goals. Sit down with the senior in your life and ask them about what they want to do in the future. They may want to travel, have more energy to play with the grandkids in the backyard, or even run a 5K.
Once you know what they want to do, you can find some exercises that will help get them there. Then set smaller goals along the way.
When they reach one of these goals, come up with some type of reward. For example, you can take them out to a nice dinner or buy them that book they’ve been interested in reading.
The exact goals and rewards you use will depend on your loved one’s interests, so find something that works for them.
3. Create a Routine That Works With Their Schedule
Having goals doesn’t make much of a difference if seniors don’t have the time or means to actually do the exercises.
Think about their daily schedule and find times to incorporate working out into their normal routine. Maybe they can take a short walk around the block every day before they check the mail. Maybe they have a bit of free time in the afternoon that can turn into exercise time.
Put together a solid schedule. This will help seniors know when they can workout and will help keep them on track. Finding the time or motivation without a schedule can be much harder.
4. Make Exercise Enjoyable
Getting motivated to exercise is much harder if you don’t like what you’re doing. So find a few ways to make exercising enjoyable for the senior in your life.
There are a few different ways you can do this.
First of all, make sure you do your best to include their hobbies in their workouts. For example, if they like to spend time with their dog, have them take plenty of walks. If they are social and enjoy company, sign them up for a workout class at the gym.
But you should also think outside the box.
Does the senior in your life have grandchildren? Grandchildren have a lot of energy, so they can get your loved one moving while having fun. Have your loved one take the grandkids to a park or play with them in the backyard.
This will keep seniors active while spending time with people they love and having fun.
5. Start Working out With Them
One of the best ways to get motivated to workout is to do it with other people. If the senior in your life still has a hard time exercising on their own, be their accountability partner.
Working out with your loved one will make the process more enjoyable and easier for them, and on top of that, it will also keep you healthy. The two of you will be able to share some quality time together while getting fit.
In fact, your loved one may not even realize they’re working out. Going on a walk with you may be something they look forward to every day instead of something they dread.
Giving Seniors the Motivation to Exercise
Working out can be difficult for seniors, but if you find ways to give them the motivation to exercise, they may enjoy being active.
If you get creative, exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. The senior in your life may come to look forward to working out every day.
But you may need help motivating your loved one, and that’s where we come in. Make sure you take a look at how we can make exercising easier for seniors!