The Link Between Physical Activity and Independence for Seniors

The Link Between Physical Activity and Independence for Seniors

Some of the toughest issues senior caregivers and their loved ones face come when an older adult feels he or she is lacking independence. As people age, it’s inevitable that they will lose some of their abilities to do certain activities. But maintaining a regular physical fitness routine can help older adults hold on to their independence for much if not all of their senior living. Southgate at Shrewsbury offers a variety of monthly fitness and exercise classes to our residents, spanning from yoga and pilates to aerobic swimming to tai chi. Our classes allow our seniors to improve and maintain their health and wellness in a fun, social atmosphere.

Terry Serio, nutrition educator for the University of Maryland Carrol County Extension Office, teaches about the relationship between fitness and independence to seniors in her community. Her courses discuss everything from food safety to nutritional guidelines, according to the Carrol County Times. She often speaks specifically about the importance of physical fitness.

“It helps them maintain their independence,” Serio told the news source about exercise for seniors. “If they are active and they’re doing things, then they keep up their stamina, they keep up their flexibility, they’re able to carry their own groceries from the market or hang their own clothes on the line.” She adds that seniors can find ways to exercise in their day to day tasks, such as gardening or playing with the grandkids.

A study from the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine give advice to caregivers and medical professionals looking for ways to motivate seniors to get active. The study suggests physicians write a prescription for exercise on an official prescription pad, as older adults are more likely to respond to doctor’s official orders. They can also talk to seniors about the importance of safety, and help assuage any fears about injury during exercise.

In addition to the fitness and exercise classes offered here at Southgate, there are many other regularly-scheduled activities to keep our residents active and social. Some of our seniors’ favorites are our weekly line-dancing and bowling league. We also have a fully-equipped health club and spa complete with swimming pool and exercise equipment. The health and wellness of our residents is our number one priority here at Southgate, and our community allows our seniors to choose what best fits their lifestyle and gives them the freedom to design their own day.