New Year, New You: Practicing Active Aging in 2020

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Home Instead Senior Care offers ideas to help older adults stay active throughout the year

As a new year begins, it’s an ideal time to establish healthier habits for the future. For most, making time for physical activity, even a few times a week, can be greatly beneficial for overall health, but this is especially true for older adults.

Regular exercise has been shown to increase cognitive function, prevent many common diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, improve mood, strengthen bones and even reduce risk of dangerous falls. Despite the benefits, the United Health Foundation’s 2019 Annual Report, showed more than 31 percent of Americans age 65 or older reported participating in no physical activity or exercise other than their regular job in the past 30 days.

“No matter your age, fitness level or restrictions, there are countless ways for each and every person to increase their physical health,” said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead Senior Care. “Whether you choose to try low impact exercises like walking, yoga or water aerobics, or something more adventurous, every little bit is helpful to strengthen the mind and body.”

To avoid feeling overwhelmed at the thought of starting a new exercise routine, Hogan suggests starting slow and working your way towards at least one activity a few times a week. Some ideas include:

  • Start Slow. If you’re not used to exercising regularly, start with activities that will warm up your muscles and joints. Exercises like seated hip marches and ankle rolls help with balance and flexibility, while torso twists and shoulder presses help seniors build strength and muscle.
  • Try a Local Gym. Local gyms may offer group fitness classes, perfect for seniors looking to socialize with friends while working out. Generally led by skilled and certified professionals, classes can often be tailored to unique personal needs. What’s more, classes often occur at the same time each week, so you can make a habit of exercising and add it to your weekly schedule.
  • Seek Out Professional Advice. Working with a personal trainer can be especially valuable for those just getting started. Take this opportunity to discuss what types of activities you’re most interested in trying and what modifications could be helpful. By learning the right exercises for your unique needs, you’ll be able to ensure a safe and beneficial fitness plan. Before you begin any exercise program, it’s worth discussing with your physician.
  • Stroll at Home. You don’t always need equipment, a gym or a trainer to exercise. Sometimes, all it takes is a brisk walk around the neighborhood to help stay fit. The best part about walking is that you can do it anywhere and at any time! To increase the overall health benefits, invite friends or family along for a causal stroll to catch up.
  • Have Fun. Sports like tennis and golf are fantastic ways for seniors to get outside, get active and interact with others. The beauty of these sports is that they are timeless, and you don’t have to be a pro to play. There are many golf and tennis leagues specifically for seniors.

No matter your age, increasing physical activity can help you live a longer, healthier and more independent life. This year, find new ways to achieve your health goals. For more information on how to get started, visit


Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 80 million hours of care annually throughout the United States and 11 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 90,000 CAREGivers℠ worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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