Care UK’s Lonsdale Mews shares wellness advice for later

If you’re caring for a loved one at home, you’ll know how difficult it is to keep them active to protect their physical and mental health. Maintaining health and fitness becomes increasingly important as we age, but can also be more difficult.

People aged 65 or over are the most sedentary age group – they typically spend ten or more hours a day sitting or lying down. Although this may seem relaxing, it could lead to problems later on.

This is because, later in life, our body inevitably declines in function. And the more inactive you are, the harder it can become to do those things you’ve always enjoyed.

Reasons to increase your activity level

1. Prevent disease

Physical activity improves immune function. So staying physically active will not only slow any physical and mental decline, but also reduce your risk of developing many common diseases.

Also, even if you have a medical condition like arthritis, heart disease, or high blood pressure, regular moderate physical activity can help reduce symptoms.

2. Improve Mental Health

Exercise promotes sleep and produces endorphins which are anti-stress hormones.

Some studies also show that regular physical activity may benefit cognitive function, reducing the risk of dementia.

3. Relieve pain

Osteoarthritis is common later in life, and it’s understandable that the pain it causes can deter you from doing any activity.

However, low-impact activity can strengthen muscles, relieve pressure on sore joints, and even ease joint inflammation.

4. Reduce the risk of falls

A loss of bone density is a fact later in life, but by doing muscle-strengthening exercises, you can restore bone density.

This means better balance, better coordination and flexibility, and a reduced risk of falls.

5. Enjoy social interaction

Social isolation is another risk faced by older people.

Yoga classes, garden clubs and walking groups are social arenas where you can make new friends and feel connected to your local community.

Ready to start?

Finding activities that are both enjoyable and doable is key to helping your loved one stay fit and healthy.

Abney Court residents of Care UK enjoy the Fit Balls session which is part of their weekly activity program
  1. Find at least one or two forms of activity that you enjoy, that you can do all year round.
  2. Gradually increase activity levels. If you have a medical condition or are unsure what type of physical activity is appropriate, talk to your GP or physiotherapist first.
  3. Aim for 30 minutes at least five days a week
  4. Try to include a mix of aerobic exercise – for example walking or gardening – to build strength, support your heart and improve your balance; strength/resistance training, e.g. water aerobics; and stretching/flexibility exercises, eg yoga and pilates.

Free support available

For more advice on the health and wellbeing of older people, download Care UK’s free guide for older people and their carers on ways to keep busy and active.

Care UK provides exceptional care across the country, with more care homes rated exceptional than any other provider. Its dedicated teams provide tailored residential, nursing, dementia and respite care that families have trusted for over 40 years.

Leicester’s Care UK care home, Lonsdale Mews, is based at Farley Way, Quorn, LE12 8XS.

To find out more about Lonsdale Mews visit the website or contact Jenny on 01509 801787 or [email protected]

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