Getting and staying fit and active with chronic conditions

If it’s been a long while since your senior got up from their favorite TV-watching perch to exercise, then we have some tips for you. No excuses accepted, even if they grapple with chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis or high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Step one is easy: confer with their primary care physician to get cleared for an exercise routine and to uncover any physical limitations. Step two: think about the conditions that they live with and tailor the exercise accordingly. Some thoughtful pairings are below:

  • If your senior has Type 2 diabetes, exercise and physical activity can help manage the disease and stay healthy longer. Some simple ways to integrate more movement in a senior’s daily routine are stretching and walking around a room during TV commercial breaks, walking around when they are chatting on the phone, challenging themselves to take the stairs.
  • If your senior has some heart health concerns, at least 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity on most or all days of the week will reap huge results, as will following a heart-healthy diet and keeping a healthy weight. Endurance exercises make the heart and arteries healthier and may lessen swelling in some joints. Try low-impact options such as swimming, water aerobics and biking.
  • If your senior has arthritis, regular exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness. Incorporate flexibility exercises such as full-body stretching, yoga, and tai chi. A secondary perk is helping with weight loss, which reduces inflammation and joint stress.
  • If your senior has Osteoporosis weight bearing exercises are in order to boost muscle mass and increase bone strength. Aim for three to four times per week. You can use bottles of water or soup cans if you don’t have weights. Walking, jogging, playing tennis, and dancing are also beneficial exercises. Moves that sharpen balance may help avoid falls, which could cause a broken bone.

Get more info about a heart healthy diet here: