Seniors may be starting to slow down, but it’s just as important for them as it is for you to stay active! They need to move and be engaged to stay healthy and happy. The types of activities seniors can do come in two main categories: the mind and the body. Activities that engage the mind are ones that offer seniors social, spiritual or intellectual interaction, with themselves and with others. Activities that engage the body are physical ones, exercises that get the senior up and moving around. Having both kinds of activities is incredibly important for healthy aging. Here’s a quick look at some types of activities in each category.
Body Mobility is one of the biggest issues that seniors face when participating in body activities. There are just certain things that seniors are unable to do, and these limits vary between people. One person may be able to get around with a cane, while another needs a walker and a third uses a wheelchair. All three of them need to exercise and move their bodies. They can all do activities, just at different levels. Physical activities are important because they improve balance, strengthen muscles, and stimulate blood flow – all important things for a senior! These seniors may not start out with much endurance, being able to only do five minutes a day, but with consistency they will gain endurance. A senior can build up endurance to participate in body activities from 5 minutes to 10 to 30 and even higher, it just takes working a little bit every day. Mind Stimulating the minds of seniors is equally as important to their health as moving their bodies. There are many activities that any senior can do to engage their own mind as well as those around them. Art therapy is incredibly popular, especially with colorful and tactile projects. Crafting and arts can help improve seniors’ mood, dexterity and focus. Another great activity is to read a book aloud for the seniors or have them listen to audiobooks. Listening to a story really allows them a chance use their mind. Playing games is something everyone can enjoy! Some of the most popular games among seniors include classic board games like checkers, chess, and parcheesi or popular card games like spades, rummy, and canasta. Activities like games that engage the whole group make for some real stimulating fun. One of the best and most effortless ways to mentally engage a senior is to play music from their generation, from when they were teenagers. It really helps bring clarity and spark memories from their youth, and has even been shown to help those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. An active senior is one who is being stimulated physically and mentally on a regular basis through exercising, creative activities and social interaction. Consistent mind and body activities can really help improve mood, focus, dexterity, mobility, flexibility, endurance and so much more! Keeping active as a senior is vital to leading a happy and healthy life.
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