At MSHC we understand how hard it can be to encourage and invite our aging loved ones to engage in fitness. Most are against it by choice or ailment, so here we are to talk about ways we can encourage our loved ones to think outside of the box! Fitness isn’t just regular exercise or a controlled diet; the capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort is the actual definition of fitness.
Now that we’ve addressed the facts, let’s talk about the fun! We already know we’re not going to get them all to train for an upcoming triathlon however we do know we can come up with some pretty neat activities that will get their bodies moving and blood flowing. At some point in all of our lives we’ve enjoyed a particular game over another; one of my favorites was dodge ball (now I highly recommend NOT playing this with your senior!) Think back to what were some of your favorite physical activities which of course kept you moving…then think about Mom or Dad. What on earth did they do for fun or to stay active when they were young??
We do encourage you to start with the simple, go for a walk in your neighborhood, plant flowers in a garden bed outside…ask them about their past time activities. Suggest games that can be played right in your back yard! Shuffleboard, horse shoes, croquet! Simple games that were once popular when they were young. Encourage the whole family to participate! The more the merrier and if anything else they’ll enjoy watching the young ones play. The feeling of involvement can go a long way.
Another good place to look is in your own community. It’s summer time in Anchorage and in particular we have several things that go on around town that are senior friendly; music in the park, various charity events and community activities whether it be a walk or a picnic. There’s always something to be enjoyed while being active, and that’s the bottom line. Encouraging our loved ones to be active is so much more important that focusing on fitness, unless of course they do plan on doing that triathlon! Take the time to enjoy your loved ones this summer!