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The Balanced Care Method: Physical Activity
Featured

06 January 2017
  Home Care Assistance Prescott | Partner Content

Keeping Active Is Important for Everyone Regardless of Age or Ability

The Balanced Care Method™ is an evidence-based program built on studies that demonstrate that only one-third of our healthy longevity is based on genetics and two-thirds on lifestyle factors within our control. Developed by Home Care Assitance, The Balanced Care Method is based on studies of the extraordinarily long-lived elders in the Okinawa region of Japan. Life spans of over 100 years are not unusual in Okinawa. More important, people in their 70s, 80s and beyond enjoy incredible good health and independence.

The Balanced Care Method is unique because it focuses as much on quality of life as on longevity—emphasizing 5 components: healthy diet, physical and mental exercise, and a purposeful and calm lifestyle. Let’s take a closer look at what constitutes physical activity, which benefits not only physical health but mental health as well.

Keeping active is important for everyone regardless of age or ability. Even those with limited mobility can improve their health, both physical and mental, by getting even a little exercise every day.

We’ve put together some ideas for senior-friendly light exercises:

  • Give chair yoga a try. Any kind of yoga is great for individuals of any age, but if your loved one is limited in their abilities, chair yoga is a good option for engaging and stretching muscles while seated. 

  • Go for a walk. Even a leisurely stroll around the block (or at the mall if the weather won’t cooperate) is good for your health, and the mental health benefits of walking can make you or a loved one feel good too.

  • Do some stretches. Stretching will give your loved one some exercise while also helping him or her feel more relaxed. Try stretching the whole body—neck, shoulders, arms, upper body (chest and back), legs, and hips – every day. 
  • Try a water class for seniors. Water aerobics is a great way to get low-impact exercise. The water provides gentle resistance that helps strengthen muscles, and it can also promote relaxation and a sense of calm.

  • Build muscle with strength and resistance training. One doesn’t have to lift a lot of weight to benefit the muscles and bones. Even 1 to 5 pound hand weights will help maintain muscle tone and promote strength. One can incorporate resistance bands into his or her exercise too if weights are too intimidating.

  • Seek out a senior fitness class. Your neighborhood YMCA or park district may have senior fitness classes that give you or a loved one light exercise and some time out of the house. Most exercise programs for seniors will offer modifications for all fitness and mobility levels. Plus, these classes are a chance to socialize!

Any exercise is better than none, so even walking around the house, doing light housework, and walking the dog up the street packs health benefits. No matter what you or an aging loved one chooses to do, enjoy! (And please consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.)

Active seniors are happier and healthier as they age. Our caregivers are trained to encourage regular physical activity and are sensitive to any individual limitations. These activities help to delay memory loss and muscle loss and to encourage independence. By working with specific lifestyle behaviors, Home Care Assistance Prescott caregivers extend and enhance the lives of seniors, helping them live longer, happier, more balanced lives. Call us today and see how we can help you or a loved one! 1-928-771-0105