It probably wasn’t a surprise when Harvard Medical School released an article on how walking and other exercise helps seniors stay mobile and independent. However, seniors might be surprised that starting today, at any age, can help you stay mobile and healthy. The article also details how a control group of seniors who exercised were 28 percent less likely to have become disabled after two and a half years than the group that wasn’t exercising.
Exercising at any age can also combat depression, improve your mood, and help you feel and look healthier. But the challenge for seniors is often exercising alone. Whether they feel lonely or uncertain about working out without anyone around, there are ways to get moving without actually being alone. Here’s how to get started:
Play a Virtual Game
Getting set up with a Wii is a fun way for seniors to get fit while connecting with others virtually. You can play with people online or ask friends and family to play with you virtually. Balance boards and skiing games can help improve your coordination, get your body moving, and provide a fun outlet during the day.
Although games like Wii don’t always come with virtual and online capabilities, you can launch Skype from your laptop to play with your grandkids or friends. You can see each other through the Skype application, interact and root for each other.
Use a Medical Alert System
Heading out to a remote area for a hike or walk can be dangerous without the ability to summon help when you need it. A medical alert system like the Lively Mobile is a great way to stay connected and get the help you need at a moment’s notice no matter what activity you’re doing. Seniors can get in touch with certified agents with a fast response time. It also comes with built-in technology to help confirm your location quickly and accurately. For seniors worried about a fall, they can rest assured knowing that the medical alert device comes with fall detection and will alert an agent to send help.
Head to the Mall
Malls are the perfect place to get in some brisk walking alone without worrying about actually being alone. Most shopping malls open early, sometimes as early as 6 a.m., to welcome walkers and for employees to get set-up for their day. And the best part is you can get in exercise whether it’s raining, snowing, or just too hot outside. Indoor malls are usually set to an optimum temperature.
Make laps through the mall. Invite friends when you can, or relax after a walk with a cup of coffee from the mall’s cafe before you go home. You’ll combat loneliness while staying fit and give more purpose and context to your day. And if you need help while you’re walking, the mall is full of employees, janitors, and security guards who can get the services you need.
Use a BlueTooth
Seniors who are missing friends and family can get hooked up with a BlueTooth headset to wear while they exercise. Call a friend and chat during a walk through the park to catch up while stretching your legs. Suddenly your exercise has become a social occasion no matter where your friends and family are. It might even inspire your other senior friends to get out and moving.
Just because you are often by yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. With a little technology, you may be alone but you’re certainly not on your own.