There's a new term that has emerged in the exercise world: Holistic fitness. Translation: Workouts that involve your mind, body and spirit to enhance your health at all levels. And for older people in particular, staying active can be one of the keys to a long, healthy life. A new study shows that mobility is one of the cornerstones of healthy aging (learn more by reading the article here.)
From pets to products, here are some options to achieving that goal:
- Multiple studies have shown that elderly people who have pets benefit in mind, body and spirit. The unconditional love combined with the need to exercise the pet makes it a win-win. For example, a program at the University of Colorado specifically focuses on helping elderly people keep their pets as long as possible. If you know an older person with a pet, offer to help them walk the dog. Have a pet? Consider inviting an older person to walk with you and Fido.
- Recently, I was taking a walk when I came across an older woman happily pushing a different type of walker. It didn't have the typical hospital-style setup, and she looked so proud of her smooth pace that I asked her about it. The product was the Drive Medical Winnie Lite Supreme Three Wheel Aluminum Rollator, and she said her doctor had recommended it to help her avoid falls while keeping up her love of walking. Walking benefits both the mind and body. You can get the "Winnie" from Wayfair.
- My mother practiced Tai Chi for years, taking classes when she was in her 70s for both the physical and social benefits. Can't find a class for an older person? Try a DVD as a gift, such as BodyWisdom Media: Tai Chi for Beginners.
- Another way to exercise the mind and body: Yoga. A variety of DVDs are designed specifically for seniors, such as "Yoga for Seniors with Jane Adams: Improve balance, strength and flexibility with Gentle Senior Yoga."