Importance of Exercise While Isolated

April 2020

During this time of social distancing to cope with the spread of Coronavirus, maximizing mobility while inside has many health and psychological benefits for older adults. Studies show that daily movement and exercise can help reduce elements of frailty, prevent falls and improve or maintain functional ability.

Here are a few tips to assist in keeping your older family member exercise while socially isolated.

  • Pick exercises that require minimum equipment – Just because the elderly may be at home, it doesn’t mean you don’t have everything you need to stay physically active. Sit-to-stand, stepping over obstacles or stair climbing are all great functional exercises. Heel-toe walking, line walking or standing on one leg are perfect for maintaining or improving balance. All of these require no additional equipment and little space. Set a goal to exercise for three times a week for 30-45 minutes and improve from there.
  • Setting Goals for Motivation & Social Interaction – Did we mention setting goals? The obvious reason behind striving for a goal or goals would be the motivation and satisfaction of reaching the goal, but the social aspect is just as important. Your older adult will be excited to tell you how many laps around the living room they did today, which now gives social interaction while isolated and improved health.
  • Make Use of Technology – Now is the perfect time to utilize technology for everything it has to offer. Call or video chat with your older loved one to discuss exercises and goals for the day. Another popular use during this time of social distancing is gym instructors or physical therapists posting live classes or exercises to YouTube channels to make it easy for anyone to participate. This may require a little help, but like we said above, the conversation will go a long way during this time.

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