Being stuck inside without access to our normal fitness routines is a challenge, both mentally and physically. For seniors, many enjoy the socialization that fitness routines provide. But without the routines and motivation from group classes at gyms, senior centers, and other social gatherings such as group walks, many of us are left to self-motivate. This is not so simple!
The CDC recommends older adults focus on taking good care of their bodies during this time to feel good both mentally and physically. Exercise is an important component to this recommendation. Walking, jogging, or running are still great exercise during this time, with the adherence to at least six feet of social distancing outside of the home. Be sure to continue practice of all hygiene precautions and be sure to wash your hands when returning inside.
Additionally, there are many great free resources for fitness routines to promote strength training at home – an important component of senior wellness. For example:
- The National Institute on Aging offers their Go4Life campaign, providing motivational tips and easy-to-follow exercise videos.
- Similarly, AARP offers a series of short, effective strength training videos that are easy to perform at home.
The clinical team from the RVNAhealth Rehabilitation & Wellness Center recommends focusing on small, consistent steps when following an at-home exercise routine.
“The goal during this period of time is to promote mental and physical health through regular and achievable exercise,” says Gigi Weiss, MSPT, RVNAhealth Director of Rehabilitation Services. “Start slow and easy, and gradually progress each day based upon your tolerance and response. Stop if you experience any shortness of breath, dizziness, or experience chest pain or increased join pains.”
Always consult your physician if you want to start a new routine or have any concerns.