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Seniors citizens’ motivation to be physically active naturally declines with age. Aches and pains start creeping in and physical endurance starts to slip. Balance begins to become an issue as well. Then mental declines and depression may further complicate things. It can become difficult to get a senior citizen out of the house, much less to burn calories. The good news is, there are some simple techniques and strategies that can help you manage and improve senior citizens’ physical fitness. We have provided some tips below to add some spice to your weekly care routine.

Use music. Richard Simmons really had the right idea on this one. Even soft music from a bygone era can help inspire your senior to undertake a little movement. Try gentle stretching to Frank Sinatra or “I Will” by the Beatles, then up the tempo with some Beach Boys. Keep movements simple and fun, and don’t forget your sense of humor.

Set a good example. It can be difficult to inspire a senior citizen to get off the couch and work out, so help them get inspired by starting in on a workout by yourself. Once they see how much fun you’re having, they’ll be likely to want to join in.

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Get creative. Pay attention to things your patient still enjoys doing around the house and figure out ways to enhance their physical activity. You can also find ways for them to participate in those activities more often. If your patient is a gardener, plant flowers in the yard that may inspire him or her to weed more often. If he or she likes to tinker at his workbench, maybe a new set of screwdrivers or a woodworking magazine will spark his interest.

Offer rewards. If you’re planning an outing on foot, don’t make exercise the focus if your patient is reluctant. Use some other reward or incentive, like a lunch date, a manicure or even just a trip to the drug store. Once you’re out of the house, motivation will take care of itself.

Above all, try to lessen the focus on “getting in shape” and “staying fit.” Try to make physical activity about having fun, getting something accomplished or getting out of the house. HomeHero caregivers are capable of integrating physical activity into senior care routine.

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