As experts in senior technology we have visited several thousand nursing homes and long term care facilities during our 20+ years working in business. One thing that we have seen an increase in over the years is more and more nursing home fitness programs aimed at helping their residents stay in shape. With better nutrition and senior fitness, more and more seniors are living a longer healthier life. While many seniors are not able to work out due to physical limitations, most have the ability to do some type of workout while staying in their nursing home. With that being said, here are 5 ways to stay in shape in your nursing home.
Lift Weights: Weight lifting is great because it can be beneficial for any group. If your nursing home has accesses to weights great, if not speak to someone at your facility to get access to either a local gym or a set of dumbbells that you can keep in your room. Many nursing homes now have created “fitness centers” that allow their residents a place where they can work out. Stretching mats, weight lifting equipment and cardio machines are some of the most common things that we have seen pop up in nursing homes around the United States. If you are planning to move into a nursing home and they don’t offer this, I would recommend going somewhere else as basic workout equipment has become a “must have” for most nursing homes these days.
Walk or Wheel: For those seniors that can walk, we recommend a daily walking program to help keep their body in shape. For those who cannot walk, but can ride a wheel chair, we recommend a daily “wheeling” program to help keep the arms in shape. Keeping the arms and legs active is one of the keys to senior fitness as unused body parts will grow weak as we age. For those who can walk, we recommend doing a 20+ minute program daily as part of your overall health plan. For those who are confined to wheelchairs you can still stay in shape, here is a great wheelchair user resistance program that we recommend.
Watch What Your Eat: It is very easy for seniors to become lax on their diet when staying in a nursing home as there are often many unhealthy choices that taste great. While we are not saying to skip the pie, cake or cookie every meal, it is wise to limit yourself on desserts as much as possible. One good rule of thumb for those who have a sweet tooth is to limit yourself to 1 small “unhealthy” snack a day while still trying to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible on a daily basis.
Join a Fitness Class: More and more nursing homes are starting to offer a variety of fitness classes for their clients. Dance class, Yoga and Water Aerobics are just some of the most popular classes that are being offered in nursing homes these days. If you have never tried one of these activities give it a shot you will be surprised at how fun and relaxing it can be.
With 20+ years of working in nursing homes around the United States, SeniorTV has seen a great rise in the amount of nursing home fitness programs offered to improve senior fitness. For those who have tried these programs, we have not only seen a better quality of life, but a better chance at living longer. These four examples above are just some of the many ways that seniors can stay in shape in nursing homes and hopefully add some quality of life to their daily living.