Fitness isn’t restricted to a certain age, fitness is for everyone, especially for our aging parents as they start getting frail and they start getting saddled with a number of health issues. You may now notice social media, especially emphasizing the importance of fitness and how you can get fit, get stronger and build muscles even if you are in the elderly age group. But the point is with age they can get more resistant towards trying exercise.
They may think that they may hurt themselves or injure themselves, they are particularly resistant to trying resistance training. The onus falls upon us, to encourage them to work out and sail through the aging process without very many hiccups. Exercise, can improve your blood circulation, improve your heart health and foster a good mood and ward off diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and so much more. So, here’s how you can make them more receptive to exercise.
Show Them the Way!
Join them for their workouts. Yes, your parents can be your best workout buddy. Also, exercise is pretty infectious, by that we mean, watching someone exercising will also make you want to join the fun as well. Your parents will also bite the bait and start exercising with you. Once they get hooked, there’s no looking back. They will want to join for your morning dose of yoga and strength training without needing any cajoling.
Do it Together!
Your elderly parents need a reason to start an exercise and some company to start. So, if you can get their friends to join you for your exercise routine, your parents are bound to follow you with a child-like eagerness. After all, there is no greater joy in discussing stuff as you try and contort your body over-complicated yoga poses or share the neighborhood gossip as they walk around the nearby park. Once they know that they have a good amount of bonding lying there before them coupled with a bit of sweat and toil, they are not going to mind the latter.
Get Them a Physical Instructor
While you cannot force your parents to do something a strict disciplinarian in the form of a fitness instructor can make them do just that. Your parents may not be able to refuse him/her. A professional instructor may not only make them do the exercises but also show them exactly how to do the exercises without risking injuries. With the instructors visiting your home every day your parents may not have to venture out. Most elderly people are averse to going out and maintaining a fitness routine, they may rather sit at home and do the things they are used to doing.
Dole Out Incentives
A reward strategy can come in handy with your parents. Track their progress and appreciate their efforts if they are able to reach certain targets in their fitness journey. Throw a party for them, take them to their favorite restaurant, cook something nice and healthy for them or just gift them something for their progress, something like a fitness tracker. This will encourage them to put in more effort to reach their fitness goals.
Tell Them All About the Benefits
Your parents may start exercising out of fear, but they may exercise with greater enjoyment when they know that there are so many benefits of exercise. How exercise can make them happy, courtesy of the happy hormones. Show them real-life examples, and how someone you know has been successfully been able to reverse their disease or lost a lot of weight thanks to a regular fitness regime.
Also, they may start feeling better, even mentally stronger, and do the things they may have always wanted, such as going for a trek, or enter a competition, or wear something they always wanted. The benefits are endless, just sit with them and make them understand the many health benefits so that they know that there are only two options for them to try, either to exercise or to exercise!
Now, that you know, how you can get your parents to start their exercise journey, you have to know that there may be a lot of resistance from them initially, but the idea is to stay persistent and soon your parents will start on their fitness journey without much ado, Best of luck!