Senior Fitness: Getting Mom More Active

As we age, maintaining an active lifestyle is critical to our health and fitness. Fitness is crucial for staying independent and active, and it can even help lower the risk of many health conditions like stroke, heart attack, arthritis and even depression. The CDC recommends seniors participate in exercise at least 30 minutes every day.

That doesn’t mean Mom has to hit the gym or start jogging – instead, encourage her to engage in activities that she enjoys so she’s more likely to continue. Below are some ways Mom can stay active, healthy, and independent throughout her golden years.

Senior Fitness: Away From Home

  • Swimming/Water Aerobics. Water activities are a great way to tone your Mom’s muscles and increase endurance. The Arthritis Foundation notes that water’s buoyancy decreases the impact on joints and can soothe joint and muscular pain; and can help improve cardiovascular fitness, balance, and range of motion.
  • Tai Chi. According to Harvard Health, Tai Chi is often described as “meditation in motion “. The low-impact, slow exercise focuses on deep breathing, muscular strength, balance, and flexibility. Tai Chi not only helps to increase circulation but it can also promote positive well-being.
  • Walking. Walking is one of the most popular and easiest activities for your Mom to perform. Many communities have formed senior walking clubs through senior, fitness, or health centers where seniors can meet other like-minded people for a little walking and talking.
  • Group Exercise Classes. Exercise classes are a fun way for Mom to add aerobic exercise to her weekly routine. Local community or senior centers often provide exercise classes designed for seniors.
  • Sports. Sports like tennis, golf, water volleyball and seated volleyball are an excellent way to help motivate Mom to remain active. A little healthy competition and teamwork can inspire Mom to maintain her commitment to exercise while enjoying the company of her peers.

Senior Fitness: At Home

  • Inside Walking. Even if Mom can’t get outside, encourage walking within the home. Frequent walk breaks in the home in addition to walking in place while folding laundry or watching television can help Mom remain active. The GreatCall Lively Wearable, one of the best pedometers for seniors, counts steps inside or out so she can keep track of her progress. It also has a discreet emergency button if she ever needs help when she’s on the go. 
  • Dancing. Create a playlist of your Mom’s favorite songs. Encourage her to listen and dance daily for a mental and physical boost. Additionally, there are many dance exercise videos available on DVD and online that Mom can use at home to keep moving.
  • Wheelchair rolling. Is your Mom in a wheelchair? No problem. Encourage seated strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular activities, like frequent wheelchair mobility around the house, to keep the mind and body active and healthy.

Of course, it’s always important to check with your Mom’s doctor before starting a new exercise program, and these ideas are just a start. For more ideas, check out our post on Easy Exercises for Seniors.

Tell us in the comments! What does your Mom to stay active?

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Tagged with: activity, exercise, fitness, lively wearable

27 thoughts on “Senior Fitness: Getting Mom More Active

  1. Mark
    March 25, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Big AL ?? Really ?? Have you no class ?? Nevermind.

  2. Mark
    March 25, 2016 at 11:59 am

    To the public : Notice that chores aren’t listed !!! That’s our job !!!

  3. Big Al
    March 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    it’s all about mom….what about dad or have you killed him off?

  4. Janet
    March 26, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for the information and ideas. Please keep me coming for we seniors.

  5. Anne
    March 29, 2016 at 4:02 am

    What about yoga?

  6. Janet
    March 30, 2016 at 5:36 am

    This article is obviously written by a young person who has no concept of what it’s like to be in an older body that won’t cooperate with what you want to do. Also, as senior, I was initially interested in this article until I realized it was addressed to the adult child, making it appear as though we seniors aren’t capable of understanding what is being written on our own. I regard this as a fluff article, written to fill up space and look cute but not practical.

  7. Carol Vevle
    March 31, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Older people are not stupid & not all need someone to read & watch over them as if they were a naughty child. It’s about time, you take the stigma & this attitude & put it to bed. Must everything have a label to it. Walking is an excellent exercise for anybody. Can be done anywhere. Dancing is fun. It’s a great way to exercise & if you dance enough it helps keep the pounds off.

  8. Suzi
    April 30, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I am a senior who needs to exercise. And I liked your article. I know about all those things, but sometimes a reminder is good! I can’t believe all the negativity. I thought your article was written with caring and loving. If one can afford it, I also recommend a personal trainer in yoga or Pilates. Both are gentle exercises. A good trainer will take you where you are and move you along from there. No “Jillians”, please. Lol

  9. Loretta curry
    April 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I enjoyed the information on the exercise ideas. Thanks.

  10. Pat clemente
    April 30, 2016 at 9:31 am

    This advice applies to people of all ages and both genders. Not only older moms, but young moms, dads, sons and daughters of all ages.

  11. Kathy
    May 12, 2016 at 5:23 am

    Never mind the negativity. I appreciate the main intent of the article, to increase the quality of life for seniors. And, yes, we certainly do need reminders. Thank you!

  12. karen K
    May 14, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I am a 64 yo senior who happens to have MS. I am not offended by this ad. I move when & however I can. I just contacted Greatcall yesterday to upgrade my Jitterbug plus to a new flip phone. I was surprised how easy it was, and the great support “Donna” gave me! I can keep using my phone, new phone will keep my number, and I can tell them to activate Voice Dial when I call in.

  13. Marcy
    May 15, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Housework is considered to be exercise.

  14. Phyllis
    May 17, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    I find the article just fine. I know some people younger than 60 that can’t do even the fluff stuff ….ha, don’t pay any attention to that rude comment. Any encouragement we can give one another to keep active is great. I visit the nursing home tell some of those precious people that it’s fluff …every little effort to take a step is like walking a mile. Whether your male or female keep moving as much as you can and along the way encourage someone to keeping moving as much as they can. Have a great life by being positive and uplifting to others.

  15. Susan B.
    October 6, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Why does “Mom” need to be told what to do by this person who assumes she has nver heard of these activities? And what HAVE you done with “Dad”? I can’t believe the condescending tone that suddenly confronts people over 55, many of whom have been doing just these activities for decades. This is why an Olympic coach is described as a grandmother rather than taken seriously as a professional.

  16. jane
    October 6, 2016 at 7:07 am

    this is so condescending to mature women, and the media deems 35 as ‘mature’ so condescending to mature women , as if they are brainless and need a younger person

    to plan their lives for them

    sickening, shame on whoever wrote this

  17. Marta
    October 6, 2016 at 7:07 am

    It’d be very helpful to aknowledge what a difficult life transition this is to suddenly turn old,

    the million changes that happen to us as we age..in society, in our families, ourselves, our

    decline in every area of life – and face up to death.

    A very difficult conversation that nobody dares to have.

    This “Mom” doesn’t feel like dancing.

  18. magoo
    October 15, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I look better at 60 than I did at 35

    I dance, swim yoga workout etc

    no one has to tell me to do that

    plus i have a bfriend 30nyears younger

  19. Liz Shore
    October 21, 2016 at 1:06 am

    My vote is with the folks who found this condescending, which interfered with the message, although it, too, is becoming a rather tired cliche. Is there anyone left on the planet who does not know it’s a good idea to exercise, at any age?

  20. Grandma D
    October 26, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Older people know a LOT of stuff and they don’t like to be constantly told what they already know. It’s really boring and annoying. Are you taking your pills? Are you sleeping well at night? Instead of giving me advice or reminding me for the umpteenth time to eat healthy, just tell me a good joke. Come over and play scrabble. Take me to a movie. Dementia may get here eventually but in the meantime, don’t rush it or assume it’s already arrived. THats my old lady rant for the day!

  21. Lee K.
    October 26, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I also was offended by the condescending tone of this article. An attitude I come across in my daily life now that I’m in my 60s. On the other hand this attitude that pisses me off also makes me more determined to stay in shape…

  22. Barb
    December 20, 2016 at 1:17 am

    ok, when you are busy raising a big 7 family, working 12 to 16 hours a day, you get plenty exercise. If you keep that routine for 25 years and then ‘retire’to do it all over again with grandchildren,then look up and check the calendar……..wow. So that is why it is so hard to get up from a chair or cook a meal or….You really don’t want to hear “mom, you need to move around more, straighten up,go for a walk”. You have to watch every word that you say, don’t nap so much, be happy and funny like you used to be. Do you see the picture from over here? I am 82, I’m TIRED. I’M IN PAIN. you take a walk! now!

  23. Di Ludeman
    December 25, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Positivity and inspiration makes me want to stay fit.

    Encouragement from friends, family and others helps me to keep on track , stay agile and alert.

    i want to be in control of my life and keep doing things I have always done.

    Ageing is part of becoming older, but feeling good and healthy combats negativity as we grow old.

    A good attitude to life, people and yourself will help you stay on top , be popular and in demand.

    This is what helps keeps me young, be open , friendly and inclusive.

  24. Candace
    December 25, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    I’m a 74 yr. old woman that has done hard outside work most of my life(full time job plus raised and trained horses in my remaining time) Suffered many injuries but had to continue with my work. That said I really feel for the people that have limiting diseases and conditions and consider myself very lucky for my good health. I can’t stand to do exercise just to exercise, tried it for a couple of years, really disliked it. If I dig post holes it’s hard work but satisfaction afterwards for finishing a task. Maybe doing some physical labor for a neighbor who’s not able would be more interesting and rewarding, no wasted energy. I’m now retired but still keep up a small farm by myself with a couple of horses and dogs that gives me chores to do and structures my time. I hike daily with my dogs and find no woman my age doing the same, just retired men walking their dogs, why is that? Also signed up for Silver Sneakers for seniors which made me feel old (be careful ) It would be nice to have a group of women in my age group to hike the State Parks. I’m a fast walker but don’t want to compete with the younger fitness walkers as I like to view and enjoy nature. I just wish I’d see more women outside exercising rather then inside a gym, it’s a beautiful world out there!

  25. George
    December 27, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Anger seems to be a viable alternative.

  26. Marge
    December 28, 2016 at 7:44 am

    First, I am only 66 years young.

    Second, Your thoughts and comments are exactly what I have said and thought often. I like destination walks, work, etc. Just to move my body is very boring. I will walk to the store for food or mow the grass but not join a group to swing my arms.

    National parks are my favorite hiking. I try to recruit more mature woman but with very little success. I want to have an adventure this summer and am undecided on what to do.

    If other woman are interested, let’s figure out a way to band together.

  27. RICHARD
    December 29, 2016 at 6:15 am

    The reason a lot of women and men decline physically after 50 is due to hormone deficiency. I have testosterone replacement pellets put in by my doctor every 4 to 5 months. My blood levels are monitored regularly. In women it is a different mixture but just as effective. The procedure is as painless as a tooth cleaning. I am now 60 and honestly feel 40. It has been a life reviving experience to say the least. Almost miraculous. My joints and muscles don’t hurt anymore and my muscle tone is back as well. I do everything I did when I was 35 and then some. I’ve been on this program for 8 years now and can’t imagine my quality of life otherwise. Your gp or gynecologist may resist, if so go to a hormone replacement specialist. Either way I’m not going down without a fight and neither should anyone that wants to enjoy their senior years actively. Make this the year all of us over 50 take our active lifestyles back. Have a great 2017!

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