August 20, 2015
Staying active and strong is important for everyone, but especially for seniors. No matter what their ability or fitness level, all of your residents will benefit from a daily dose of activity. And, the more fun and easy you can make it for them, the better. Here are some easy ideas on how to keep daily exercise fun and engaging for all your residents.
Exercises for all ability levels
Whether you have structured exercise, like Zumba or aerobics, or “do your own thing” spaces like a weight room or walking path, be sure to accommodate residents of all ability levels. This could mean adding railings around your walking path or adapting exercises for people in wheelchairs. Activities should be safe and fun for everyone.
Make structured exercise sessions more fun by coming up with a theme for each one. Encourage residents to participate in the themes as much as they can. Some fun examples:
- Wear Your Favorite Color
- Wear a Fun Hat or Headband
- Make up a Cheer
- Bring a Friend
Track exercise progress or daily activity (like steps taken, number of arm rolls, miles walked, etc) on a communal chart with gold stars or stickers, or give each residents their own personal charts so they can track progress in their own way.
Keep everyone motivated and engaged by providing a cheering section during every exercise session. Recruit staff members, visitors, and even residents, to shake pom poms, hold up banners and encourage participants. This will be a great morale booster for everybody.
Even a little daily activity can make a huge difference in the physical and metal health and well being of your residents. With a little creativity, you can make exercise fun and engaging, so your residents can reap the benefits every single day.