People across the world are continuing to practice social and physical distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). While many of the places and spaces we previously used to exercise are temporarily closed, we must modify the ways we stay active and continue to make it a part of our daily routine.
Exercise has many benefits for people of all ages, but for older adults specifically, it helps to improve muscle strength, balance and overall quality of life. When we exercise, our bodies release a chemical called endorphins that contribute to a positive feeling and affect our mental health. By incorporating exercise into our daily routine, we are helping both our body and our brain stay fit.
There are many exercises that can be performed at home using minimal equipment. Strength-based exercises can be done using household items like soup cans, or inexpensive items like elastic resistance bands. Yoga exercises can be performed easily at home and poses can be adapted for all ages and abilities. Many yoga teachers and studios are offering free guided practices online through channels such as YouTube and Facebook. Nordic walking is another option for older adults who are able to walk outside and abide by social and physical distancing practices while doing so. The use of poles during walking involves the actions from arm and upper back muscles.
As the weather warms up, older adults who have a personal garden may want to consider working in it as a form of physical activity. Avoid making trips to the store to purchase new supplies and use existing tools and materials you currently have at home to prepare your garden for spring.
We encourage all Canadians to follow the advice of public health officials and not leave your home if you have recently travelled or if you develop symptoms.
To read more about the benefits of physical activities that can be done within your home or outside, read through our resources below.