There’s a lot of talk about the importance of 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days per week. Your parents need to work on muscle strength and balance. What you’re not sure is what exercise is best. You’ve read that the heart rate should increase for this exercise to count.
You’re wondering if aerobics is a good choice for your mom and dad. Here’s a closer look at the benefits and risks.
The Benefits of Aerobic Exercises
Exercises that get the heart pumping are all types of aerobic exercise. They get you moving, increase respiration, and increase your heart rate. Exercises like Zumba, kickboxing, dancing, and running all count.
Because this form of exercise makes the heart pump and impacts your respiration, it helps the amount of blood flowing in and out of the heart with each pump. This helps move oxygen throughout your body. Muscles and organs all benefit from the increased oxygen flow. It strengthens the lungs.
Aerobics also helps with mental and emotional health. Not only does the oxygen flow help the mood, but it also releases stress hormones. Anxiety and stress can decrease with aerobic activities.
There Are Risks
Your parents cannot jump right into an aerobics program. They need to talk to their doctor. They need to loosen the muscles to avoid muscle tear or joint damage. They may have health issues that make an aerobics program risky without a trainer nearby.
Start Slow and Build Up
If your parents are given the go-ahead, they should start slow. Do as much as they can tolerate and increase slowly over time. A good goal would be 15 minutes for a couple of weeks and increase it to 20. Start with a beginner-level program and level-up over time.
Ideally, your parents should mix the types of exercise each week. Two days could include strength training. Two days could include Zumba or dance. The final three days could be Yoga and walking. By mixing up the types of exercise, all of the muscles get a workout.
Be Your Parents’ Exercise, Buddy
If the doctor says it’s okay, an aerobics program helps with cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and balance. Your parents may be more likely to work out if you join them. Stop by for a weekly walk together. Enroll in a Zumba class together. You’ll both be active and enjoy time together.
You should pair daily exercise with help from caregivers. With elder care services, your parents live independently but have help with certain areas of aging. Talk to an elder care specialist to discuss those services and rates.