The Best Exercises for an Aging Parent with Diabetes

Home Care Services in Thornhill: The Best Exercises for an Aging Parent with Diabetes

If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, they have undoubtedly been instructed to change their diet and increase their level of activity. For those that have been sedentary, starting a new exercise regime can be difficult and frustrating as the body adapts to increased activity. The key to a new exercise plan is to start slow, find an activity or several activities that your parent enjoys, and help them integrate it into their daily life.

Why Exercise?

Exercise helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Muscles require glucose when set in motion—this then lowers the level of glucose in the blood. It also helps your heart stay healthy and strong, and lowers the risk for atherosclerosis. Additional benefits are lower blood pressure levels, increased stamina and energy, and a better night’s sleep.

Types of Exercise

A well-rounded exercise program includes aerobics, strength training and activities that increase flexibility and balance. Setting up a weekly schedule of various activities keeps the routine fresh and boredom to a minimum, ensuring a long-term commitment. Types of exercise routines to consider include:

  • Aerobic activity should be performed at least every other day. Activities to consider include brisk walking, street or stationary bicycling, and swimming or water aerobic. Aim for at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.
  • Strength Training should be conducted at least twice a week. This can be conducted in the gym or at home with hand-held weights or resistance bands. Many communities offer exercise programs geared toward seniors, specifically those with diabetes, at the local senior community center or YMCA. There should always be a day of rest between strength training sessions to allow the muscles to repair.
  • Tai chi is a gentle form of Chinese martial arts that has been growing in popularity with seniors and those that care for their aging parent. It is an activity that you can do together at home by purchasing one of the many CDs on this ancient exercise form that incorporates both fitness and stress reduction. According to an article in Everyday Health, Sheri Colberg-Ochs, PhD, a professor emeritus of exercise science, “Tai chi improves balance and may reduce nerve damage.”
  • Yoga, one of the gentle types designed for seniors, can increase flexibility, reduce stress and increase muscle stamina and strength.

Home Care Provider

Should your loved one need assistance with the everyday activities of life, consider the aid of a home care provider. They can help with daily tasks as well as accompany your parent on daily walks, provide transportation to exercise classes and provide that all-important companionship so important to seniors.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Thornhill, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.


About Susan Di Michele

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