Exercise Tips for Senior Citizens

For senior citizens (over 65 years old), exercise is a very important matter. It can mean prolonging the debilitating effects of age-related diseases and help maintain a healthy outlook in life. On the other hand, exercise can also create unnecessary stress in the body and thus lead to lasting damage instead. If not done properly, exercise can be a very detrimental factor. For senior citizens, here’s some exercise tips to help ensure that exercise will be done safely while providing the health benefits.

Medical Consultation

Before doing any stressful activities like exercise, it is advisable that you should consult with your physician first. Even if it can be something simple like brisk walking, exercise can still raise the heart rate and thus affect the body. In addition, exercise will also affect how some medications work so it’s best to consult with a doctor that knows about your case and your medications. Thus, they will be able to advise you if exercise is indeed beneficial for you or not. In some cases a doctor will most likely decrease the intensity of a workout or exercise regimen according to your needs.

Precautions during Exercise

If you feel any sort of pain (muscle or inside your body), then you should stop immediately and take a rest. If the pain still persists after taking a rest, then have yourself checked in a medical facility or by a qualified physician. If you feel any of the following during exercise then consult your physician immediately: chest pain or tightness in the chest, neck or throat; considerably difficulty breathing; nausea, dizziness, excessive cold sweat; lasting fatigue even after exercise.

Should you feel under the weather like you’re running a temperature or if you have any pre-existing injuries, then you should avoid exercising until you feel really up to it. Remember that preventing any further aggravation of your condition is much better than regular exercise.

Health Benefits for Senior Citizens

Regular exercise can help improve your balance and thus reduce falls or injuries. Even if it’s just muscle tone exercises, it can still help with your overall body posture and thus help with your gait as you go about with your daily tasks. Being fit will also help you stay independent longer. Gone are the days when senior citizens are viewed as individuals strapped to a bed because of health reasons. Exercise will help you stay on your feet a little longer and will help you enjoy your life to the fullest.

In terms of health conditions, exercise may prevent heart diseases, stroke, osteoporosis, some cancers, and other fatal diseases. When you exercise, the continuous movement will help facilitate your blood flow and help you breathe deeply. Lastly, strengthening exercises can help keep your bones and muscles strong, so it will help prevent bone loss.

Types of Aerobic Activity

For aerobic activity, it is generally classified as activities that make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. For exercise geared towards senior citizens, there are two types: moderate aerobic activity and vigorous aerobic activity.

Moderate Aerobic Activity

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. While you are doing this exercise and even after doing this exercise you can still talk, but holding your breath for a long time (like in singing) is difficult or impossible. Examples of this activity include brisk walking or bike riding.

Vigorous Aerobic Activity

In the case of vigorous aerobic activity, your heart rate increases a little and you will only be able to say a few words before you need to catch your breath. Don’t worry, having to catch your breath is normal for this activity and is no reason for concern; unless it persists well after resting when you’re finished with your exercise. Examples of this activity include cross-country skiing or jogging .

Hydration and Warm-up

Since you will be sweating a lot and losing fluids during the exercise, you should drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise. Keep in mind that the older you get, the easier it is to have problems related to ligaments, tendons, joints and other small muscles. If you don’t warm up before exercising, it can be very easy to cause damage and pull a muscle. The best way to prevent this, aside from doing a warm up before your exercise, is to include a cool down set at the end, and finally finish with some stretching exercises after you’re finished.

Be Creative

There is no rule that says only swimming, walking, or jogging counts as cardiovascular exercises. You should stick to activities that you enjoy doing instead of following popular workouts. Just remember that all you need to do is to raise your heart rate and keep your body moving. Even dancing, gardening, yard work, or playing with your grandchildren will do the trick.

Of course, it will be common to have some sort of physical limitations that will prevent you from doing standard exercises. In this case, there are several exercise alternatives available. For example, there are aerobic and strength-training exercises that you can do while lying down or sitting on a chair. There are even water-based aerobics or exercises if you are advised to avoid impact or weight-bearing movements like brisk walking or jogging.

If you feel that you do much better in a social environment, then you can check many message boards or exercise groups in your local area. There will be many exercise groups across all ages so don’t hesitate to look for one that suits you in terms of activity and schedule.

Increase Your Regimen Slowly

Even for young health aficionados out there, exercising rigorously without proper training or preparation can lead to serious injury. The same applies to senior citizens. A good rule of thumb is to increase your exercise regimen by increments of 10 minutes. For example, you can start by walking around your neighborhood for 15 minutes before taking a rest. Once you’re comfortable with that pace and time, then you can increase it to 25 minutes, before increasing it to 35 minutes and so on. Every small step counts so don’t rush things and learn to pace yourself. Pacing is one of the most important safety factors involved in exercising, and one that is overlooked easily. As we mentioned earlier, start at a slow pace making sure to not push yourself. If you feel any of the aforementioned warning signs, then make sure to stop and evaluate yourself after a few minutes of rest or so.

There are many exercise tips for senior citizens out there. The most important things you need to consider is that you shouldn’t over-exert with your exercise regimen. It can be also a very good idea to exercise with a buddy so that you can check each other, encourage each other, and also call for help if something happens.

The Different Parenting Styles

Developmental researchers are constantly baffled by the connection between parenting and the child’s later behavior. Studies have shown that children that grew up in different household conditions can still grow up having very similar characteristics. However even if that is the case, those specific parenting styles have an effect on the children’s behavior when they grow up. Here’s a rundown of the various parenting styles and what kind of children they are most likely to produce.

Authoritarian Parenting

For an authoritative household, the child is expected to adhere to his/her parent’s very strict rules and guidelines. If there are any lapses on the child’s part to adhere to these rules, then it is meted out with strict punishment no matter what the reason for the lapse may be. Even if the child may ask for the reason why they have to follow those sets of rules and guidelines, authoritative parents decline giving any specific answer. In short, authoritative parents have terribly high expectations, but they are not willing to listen to the children’s side.

In an authoritative household, it might seem very impressive to see children act in a very calm and orderly manner. This might even seem very good for families with young children. On the other hand, since the child is not allowed to think or speak for himself, he will never develop these socially important skills. When faced with problems or decision-making questions, they tend to shy away from these and opt to follow the general consensus. After all, that’s what they were programmed to do – simply follow and never decide for themselves.

Authoritative Parenting

An authoritative household is very similar to an authoritarian household in the sense that both parents might have high expectations for their children. The major difference here is that an authoritative parent will constantly listen and take into consideration the children’s opinion. For example, the child might be too tired to go to soccer practice, but the parent will notice that lately the child has been skipping any form of responsibility and simply hanging out with newfound friends. Instead of caving in or forcing the child to go to soccer practice then and there, the parent will make the child understand about the importance of keeping commitments and then take the child to soccer practice with a promise of a reward after it is over. It might sound difficult and complicated, but once achieved, authoritative parenting is very rewarding for both the child and parent.

Children raised in this type of household grow up to be very confident achievers who are not afraid to make mistakes, since they learn from mistakes and get better each time. In addition, they are also more flexible with regards to gender roles like sensitive men or independent women, since they were raised in a very open environment. It is also important to note that if the children are unable to meet the parent’s expectations, they are met with nurturance and forgiveness rather than punishment so the way they deal with failures is also lenient but serious.

Permissive Parenting

Also called as indulgent parents, these parents only have few conditions for their children. Since they have few demands, they also have few to no expectations at all regarding self-discipline and maturity. In turn, this means that they don’t have any reason to discipline their children no matter what the child does or screws up. This type of parents is more responsive and lenient in the sense that they do not expect any type of mature behavior, and tend to avoid confrontation.

With the parents’ busy schedules and less quality time with children, it’s very easy to fall into this type of parenting. Since they don’t spend as much time with their children, parents tend to go overboard in terms of buying the children what they want or giving them as much freedom as they want. In this sense, the child ends up feeling entitled to getting what they want, not what they need all the time. Permissive parents tend to give in to small battles like the fight for that extra toy or special dessert. However, it leads to bigger problems down the road when the child has problems with authority, talks back to parents, or simply misbehaves against society. If you’re tempted to give in to this kind of situation, think more about the long-term happiness for the child. It might seem painful having to say no or setting limits for your beloved children, but this is for the best – their future.

Hands-off Parenting

Hands-off parenting involves letting the child learn through experience. They are allowed to make their own decisions, make mistakes, and recover from those mistakes all by themselves. It can be very difficult to discern properly when children are allowed to make mistakes on their own accord or if they need guidance at some point. The major problem with this parenting style is it may be because of the parent’s stress rather than the child’s needs. For example, when a parent comes home tired from a long day at work and the child is eagerly waiting for help on their homework, the parent can easily postpone or delegate the task to someone else. Once this kind of situation happens too often, it can easily undermine the child’s determination to do well in school. Hands-off parents could argue that this is letting the child be more independent. However in this time, the child was not asking for help, but just asking for guidance on what to do or where to begin with.

It can be very beneficial for the child in the long run if they are allowed a greater deal of independence. After all, parents are raising their children to be very good adults. However next time the child asks for help about issues around school or responsibility, it’s not actually the child being all whiny and overly dependent, but asking for guidance. Of course, hands-off parents don’t have to indulge every single thing the child needs but help them build a bridge to independence on their own by breaking down their problems into smaller steps so they can handle it on their own with ease.

After reading about the different parenting styles and their effects on the child’s behavior, you might wonder why everyone doesn’t simply become authoritative parents. However, there are some factors that lead to these differences like personality, culture, parental background, family size, religion, socioeconomic status and even educational level. Of course, the parenting styles of the individual parent also create a unique style for each family out there. For instance, the mother could adapt to a more authoritarian approach, but the father may go for a permissive style. For their parenting to work, both parents need to facilitate a unified method of parenting. Both parents need to learn to work with each other while they try out different elements from their different parenting styles. Also it’s very important to remember that nobody is perfect, so if the road gets tough or the parent might make mistakes, getting back on the road is more important.

Preparing for Parenthood

Whether you’re expecting a baby soon or simply talking about having children in your marriage, it can lead to a very tense relationship. The reason for this is because each person has different views on child care issues and raising children. Often these discussions can lead to heated debates and can worsen a marriage. For instance, one partner may assume that the other side feels exactly the same regarding a child care topic when they may not. In addition, there are pressing matters like who should care for the child and how much each parent will work. Taking care of these issues and other things can make parenthood less bumpy for the both of you. Here are some tips to get you started on this.

Soak up Information

There are lots of good resources for parenting from experts or experienced parents. You may have to purchase some, but there are also tons of free resources available if you search. Of course, resources don’t have to be limited to books only. There are videos, websites, and other online content for you to browse. Keep in mind that when the baby comes, you’ll be too busy to read, listen, and watch at that time so you should do so beforehand.

Experienced Teachers

While you’re still thinking about having kids of your own, try to spend time with couples who already have kids. Watch them, get to know their routine and also observe the kids. Try to spend as much time as you can with them to learn more about their experiences with their kids. If possible, you can even sign them up as your mentor couple to guide you through the upcoming trying times. Their experience will provide valuable insight and suggestions for your parenting skills.

Talk it Over

Ideally, this should also occur in the planning phase, not in the expecting phase. When you’re still contemplating to have a baby or not, talk with your partner about your hopes, fears, and expectations about being a parent. This might involve opening up your pasts or childhood secrets, but opening up to your partner is important so that they will know what you will do in what situation. If you have differences, don’t fret or get upset – it’s fairly normal. What you can do instead is to talk about those issues and come to a shared understanding of common ground you can agree on.

Beef up Finances

Babies come with big expenses. If you’re not prepared, your money could run out very fast and your baby could end up hungry or worse. You can’t tell the baby to wait for a few days or what, since they need nutrition, not to mention their diapers, clothes, equipment, medical, and their upcoming education costs. This should be a major concern for you and should involve a huge part of your planning phase. There are lots of educational plans you can take advantage of now which involves paying a few amount every month, but leads to a full-paid college education for your child when he/she needs it.

Stop the Vices

Once you’re planning to get the baby, avoid smoking, drinking or drugs. It should be common sense, but people don’t seem to understand the importance of this preparation. For smoking, you (the mom) should eliminate smoking completely from your life 6 months before trying to get pregnant. This will give you ample time to deal with withdrawal symptoms before dealing with pregnancy hormones. In the case of alcohol, some doctors say that a small amount is okay during the entire course of pregnancy, while others rule it out completely. To be on the safe side, avoiding alcohol completely during pregnancy seems like the best option out there.

Proper Diet and Exercise

When you get pregnant, it can be a very scary thing since there is someone living inside you for that duration. Some women try to follow diets or exercises that are geared towards making their body shape look good. However, it doesn’t take into account the fact that you are eating for 2 now. Proper maternal diet and exercise is very important for a healthy mom and baby. Eating right will make sure that your baby will grow healthy, while exercise can protect you from any complications during delivery. Also keep in mind that delivery will be very stressful, especially during labor and after delivery. During this time, having a well-conditioned body will definitely work out in your favor.

Consult Beforehand

Even before you get pregnant, you can have a consultation with your gynecologist to have you and your partner evaluated. What the doctor will check is if you are capable of having a baby and if it’s easy for you to get pregnant. If there are any possible complications in your pregnancy, knowing about it before you get pregnant is very important as compared to knowing about it when the baby is already on the way. If you and your partner are unprepared about this, then it could lead to fatal complications or a very expensive pregnancy.

Keep it Small

When people think about having a baby on the way, they immediately think about a bigger home. This is definitely not a very good move. For one thing, kids are small to begin with. They don’t need a bigger room until they are almost in their teen years. In addition, finding a new place when you are expecting can lead to unwanted additional stress during an already stressful time. If you’re really eager to get out of your apartment and into your own home, it might be better to wait until the baby comes out before reassessing your living conditions.

Modify Your Will

It might sound morbid, but this is also one of the most overlooked tasks for expectant parents. Aside from telling what properties the child will inherit, and health care proxy, the will also lists who the child’s guardian will be in case of your untimely demise. Just imagine, if you had an accident and had to leave the child alone and defenceless, they could end up living in an unknown relative’s house while the rest of your possessions is auctioned off by the other greedy relatives. It’s a scenario you definitely wouldn’t want your child to experience. Preparing the will before the baby arrives also eases legal complications. Since the baby is here, it can take a long time or be more expensive to prepare a will. At that time, parents have their hands tied or choose to have the will modified later instead. During that point, the assets would have already lost their value or bank accounts would have dwindled down.

There are a lot of factors you need to consider when talking about preparing for parenthood. Aside from the emotional, spiritual, or physical needs, you also need to pay attention to the financial aspect. Raising a child will be very stressful in your relationship as well as for your bank account so having a good buffer for those situations will definitely work out in your favor in the long run.