Thanks to the latest techinical advances, life expectancy keeps growing, but we must also worry about the quality of life of our elders, which is why it is essential that they stay in shape, both physically and mentally. Today we are going to see why activity for the elderly is so important and what we can do to make them as healthy as possible.
All the advances in science and technology are leading us to live longer. Life expectancy in Spain according to the National Institute of Statistics is 83 years (80 for women and 85 for men). Moreover, the latest studies predict that, in 2030, women in South Korea will reach an average of 90.8 years.
Living longer comes with a greater responsibility, that is, to take care of our body and our mind, because not only life expectancy is important, but also quality. Although healthy habits must be had always, no matter if you are younger or older, elderly people have special needs because of their age, which can be met through certain activities.
These activities must be both physical and mental, since they are two parts of the individual that must always be looked after equally. The elderly tend to have a more fragile health, so it is necessary to perform stretching and other exercises that allow them to stay in shape and have fewer injuries.
The exercises also have to be mental, since with the passage of time we lose many cognitive faculties and it is another muscle that we have to train to avoid having memory problems and other diseases related to ageing.
First of all, we must think whether they will be carried out at home with the family or in specialized places, such as day centers. This will depend mainly on the free time that the closest family members have. These centers are not a bad option, since there are experts in the care of the elderly and it is also a good place to socialize with others of their same age.
The importance of keeping the body in shape
First, to take care of physical well-being, we must avoid any behavior that promotes sedentary lifestyle, which is much more dangerous as we get older. That is why it is very important to go out every day, a simple walk avoids the muscles atrophy and in the process we get vitamin D from the sun’s rays.
Another way to keep the body in shape is swimming, a very beneficial sport to exercise mobility and involving a large part of a person’s muscles. Other activities that are very popular lately are yoga or meditation, which helps maintain the elasticity of the body, and also the use of other relaxation and stretching techniques.
Neurobics, or brain gymnastics
As we said, the brain is another part of the body that you have to keep in shape, giving it the same importance as other muscles. That is why it is advisable to reserve a part of the day to do mental activities. As soon as it becomes a habit, it will be much easier to do, since the elderly value the routine a lot, without surprises or last minute changes.
To have a good mental health, it is not necessary to carry out activities out of the ordinary. For example, reading the newspaper every day is a very simple way to do it. There are many games that also help to exercise the mind, such as bingo, cards or other board games, and also allow socializing with other people, which is usually another problem in this sector of society: loneliness.
The maintenance of physical and mental health of the elderly is not too complicated a task, but it must be taken seriously, because their quality of life will depend on it. The most important thing is that these exercises, both physical and mental, are included in the routine of these people.