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3 Ways Exercise Can Do More Harm than Good for Seniors

It is a well known fact that regular physical exercise comes with many health benefits, even for seniors. However, this does not necessarily mean that all physical activities are good for aging adults. There are actually some scenarios in which exercise does more harm than good, with the following three mistakes contributing to this problem:

  1. Too Much Too Soon – In an effort to get mom or dad to participate in daily activity, some caregivers may unknowingly be encouraging their loved one to jump into a routine. Exercising for the recommended amount of 30 minutes or more each day is not a good idea for seniors new to exercise or for those who were previously active, but have been sedentary for quite some time. The senior needs to gradually build up to recommended levels to avoid stress, strains and injury to the body. Provide assistance during the exercises to ensure safety and consider hiring a home caregiver if you are unable to monitor their exercise routine.
  1. No Pain No Gain Mentality – Despite popular belief, strenuous physical activity is not needed for seniors to reap the health benefits of exercise. Pushing the elder to his or her limits will often have the opposite effect, leading to injuries. Pain should not be ignored during activity. While the occasional joint pain and stiffness can sometimes be alleviated by exercise, the occurrence of pain is one of the first signs that the senior may be overdoing it.
  1. Overlooking Health Conditions – Older adults with certain medical conditions may find that exercise can cause serious harm to the body when improperly monitored. For example, exercise decreases blood sugar levels and increases the heart rate. Therefore, diabetics may need to monitor blood sugar levels more closely, sometimes even adjusting medication or exercise times. The same can be said of seniors who may suffer from high blood pressure. Exercising when blood pressure is too high can result in dizziness or fainting.

Exercise, when performed properly and with the right support systems can do wonders for a seniors’ mental, physical and emotional health. Be sure that your aging loved one talks with their doctor or primary care physician before starting any new exercise plan.

Interested in learning more about senior fitness? Contact Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque today. Our holistic approach to care, known as the Balanced Care Method™, emphasizes the importance of daily exercise, nutritious meal preparation, social ties and calmness and purpose.

For more information, visit our website at www.homecareassistanceofalbuquerque.com or contact a Care Manager directly at 505-798-0800. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and can help you schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to further discuss individual care needs.