Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle depends on both diet and exercise, and it's important to start with activities that fit your current fitness level. Try out these five easy activities and then repeat the ones you like several times over the course of a day, and you’ll be on your way to healthy weight and lifestyle management.
1. A Slow and Gentle Walk
You don’t have to power walk or set a new land speed record to burn calories through walking. You don’t even have to perform a traditional walk to burn; you just have to engage in some consistent movement. If you can walk independently or using a cane or walker, try a couple laps around your assisted living apartment or up and down your hallway.
If you're in a wheelchair and have some leg strength, use your legs to walk your chair along the same route in your apartment or on your hallway. If you are unable to use your legs right now, you can still burn extra calories using your arms to propel your wheelchair through your laps. Go slowly and gently. You don't have to overexert yourself or break a sweat.
2. Move Your Arms
Arm circles are a great way to maintain your range of motion, burn calories without getting off the couch and keep yourself limber and stretched out. Simply extend your arms out to the side to where you're comfortable and swing them around in gentle small circles. Depending on your energy level, you can do one arm at a time or both.
If circles are a bit too hard, move your arms up and down like a majestic bird gliding through the sky. Start with a few seconds and work up to a few minutes at a time, and always quit if you find yourself in pain or growing lightheaded.
3. Pool Exercises
Being in a pool can be very soothing to your body and joints, and even just walking back and forth across the shallow end of the indoor pool that we offer here at The Gardens can help you burn a few calories each day. The resistance of the water helps you burn calories, and the weightless feeling the water provides can increase your endurance. Try arm motions, gentle aerobics, walking, kicking and even dancing while in the water to burn calories. If you can, swimming laps is a great whole body cardiovascular activity.
4. Kickball or Ball Toss
You'll need a friend or neighbor for this one. Sit across from them, and kick or toss a ball back and forth. The best thing about working out with a partner or in a group is that time passes more quickly, and you burn calories without even feeling like you're exercising.
5. Perform a Few Chores
While we provide housekeeping, you can also do a few chores in your apartment for yourself and burn calories along the way. Pushing a vacuum around on your carpet, dusting your trinkets, folding laundry or scrubbing a countertop for a few minutes at a time are all activities that increase your heart rate and work your muscles. Just be careful not to overexert or inhale cleaning fumes during the process.
Always remember to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise. You can also work with the staff at our assisted living community to develop movement programs that are safe for you.