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Overcoming Barriers to Fitness: Motivating Seniors to Exercise

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Finding ways to stay active and engage in some form of physical fitness is important for everyone, regardless of age. Yet, many seniors — more than half of older adults — do not get the exercise they need due to barriers that get in their way. These can be lack of information, uncertainty about physical abilities, or a lack of resources.  

Today’s modern senior living communities empower older adults to reap the benefits of a lifelong commitment to exercise and wellness. Because, as we say at Peregrine Senior Living, it’s not just about living a longer life, it’s about living a longer, healthier life.  

Motivating seniors to exercise: getting past the barriers

If you find yourself or an older loved one hesitating to become more physically active, it could be helpful to consider what is holding you back, and how the right lifestyle choice could make all the difference. 

Need more information?

Perhaps the first barrier to get past is simply having the facts: if you don’t realize there are opportunities available for you to engage in, you won’t be there. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of not knowing a local senior center offers fitness classes. Consider going online to take advantage of a variety of virtual resources. Or, your physician may not be emphasizing how staying active can play a significant role in your overall wellness. In a senior living community, there are countless classes and activities which offer health benefits. With The Peregrine Way™, you’ll not only have access to opportunities for enrichment and wellness every day, you’ll receive professional instruction and guidance to pursue them with confidence. Make sure to read the activity calendars, or ask the activity staff or your friends for the upcoming schedule.  Peregrine staff posts daily calendars you can check at breakfast time. 

Worried about falling or an injury?

Fear of injury can be a major barrier when it comes to motivating seniors to exercise. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, fear of falling, getting hurt and general safety are among the most commonly reported barriers expressed by older adults. But ironically, being active is the best antidote. The loss of strength and stamina attributed to aging is in part caused by reduced physical activity — but physical activity actually can help maintain the ability to live independently and reduce the risk of falling and fracturing bones. The stronger you are, the better your likelihood of living life as you choose.

Bored by it all?

Some people just don’t enjoy participating in exercise activities. Others really aren’t sure how they feel about starting a new activity, as it’s been so many years since they really participated. Motivating seniors to exercise is about helping people find something they enjoy. In a Peregrine senior living community, you can enjoy walking and stretch activities, join a walking club, try yoga classes, work on your putting skills, attend a dance activity, or come up with your own suggestion for a new way to get moving and have some fun! Surrounded by enthusiastic peers, you’ll find it’s much easier to do.

Wondering about physical limitations?

Many older adults worry that their physical conditions would keep them from fully participating in a fitness activity. Pain, stiffness, and fatigue can result in reluctance to work out. However, the facts show that exercising can actually help improve or even reverse some of these conditions. Exercise can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis. In a senior living community, you’ll find a range of choices to meet every level, with chair exercises and gentle Tai Chi and yoga to walking groups and gardening.

Feeling depressed or lonely?

For many older adults living on their own, the idea of beginning an exercise program on their own is more than daunting, it’s a very real barrier to exercise. That’s because many older adults find that what motivates them to be active is the social interaction that can be found in most fitness activities. The Peregrine Way™ offers a variety of wellness programs and opportunities, so you can get the exercise you need in a friendly atmosphere with friends to help encourage you. Laughter gets you moving!

Enriching lives the Peregrine Way: come see what we mean!

At Peregrine Senior Living, you’ll enjoy a supportive lifestyle that enriches your life in unexpected ways—so you are free to enjoy life more!  Download our free Motivated Living Blue Zones guide. Learn more about The Peregrine Way™Contact us today.

Written by
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

More Articles By
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

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