During stressful pandemic times, following SOPs is essential, especially for senior citizens. However, it may lead to despondency, boredom, inactivity, and loneliness. To counter this pitfall, it is vital to be proactive and engage in a healthy and productive daily routine.
We consulted the experts on the issue and compiled their top pieces of advice for the best activities to add to a senior’s daily routine during the pandemic.
A senior living alone during a pandemic should get in the habit of using the treadmill or elliptical machine at least 20 minutes per day whenever they can. As their ability to participate in sporting activities decreases (like running, tennis), it's important to keep their cardiovascular fitness on point. Rolling, stretching, and light weights are also highly encouraged for seniors with little physical activity during this time.
Dave Shelton from My Fitness System; a health and fitness website.
Seniors can take part in Chair Yoga. Chair Yoga is a great way to help activators and senior citizens move all of their joints and strengthen their muscles. The chair also provides security and helps a senior regain trust in themselves after falling. The chair can be available for balance and even help a senior citizen feel confident going a little bit deeper into a pose. If the senior citizen wants to squat without the chair, that can be a fun and playful way to get to know their body again, or they can use the chair and just sit on it.
Finding a chair yoga class can easily be done on YouTube, virtually, or in person through the local Senior Center or Parks And Rec EL apartment. There are chair yoga dance classes! Chair Yoga is wonderful because it builds a sense of community and provides social time for seniors. Before and after the class, senior citizens can talk with each other and make new friends.
Senior citizens need time to gather together and also to remember that their spirit can stay alive even as their physical body declines. When I taught Senior Yoga, I had a woman named Helen, who was 98 years old and always made her hair look so cute and wore cute outfits. Cheer yoga can help senior citizens boost their self-esteem and feel upbeat about their life versus being isolated and depressed.
Katie Ziskind, Owner Wisdom Within Counseling
You can play crossword puzzles and Sudoku. You can also read books to stimulate your imagination. These are the ways to exercise your mind to help you maintain your cognitive skills and remain sharp.
Kevin Daly, Marketing Manager Zevo Health
In the bleak situation of COVID-19, senior citizens should maintain their health and give insightful advice to youth. They can deliver online lectures via Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet and motivate the young generation to stay calm in an unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic.
The senior citizens have versatile experience in every field, and they know how to overcome such dark times. If an old man is above 80 years of age, he must have experience of the deadliest World War II and its destructive impacts on the physical or mental state of the common people. They can present the ideal guidelines on how to avoid negative thoughts and shape the positive approach in society.
Moreover, they should maintain their health by avoiding social contact and start to develop a daily routine of exercise in homes. Furthermore, if the old man can read a few pages of a book, they should narrate the stories to their grandchildren and teach them to live a happy and prosperous life.
Also, senior citizens play a crucial role in unlocking the creativity of the youth by presenting the practical overlook of a society.
Yuri Khlystov, an HR and recruitment specialist at jobsandcareer.tips
Seniors benefit from lightweight training to retain bone density, aerobic exercise to promote cardiovascular health, and stretching or yoga to increase stability and flexibility. For lightweight training, seniors can use weights to do exercises like bicep curls and arm raises, as well as body-weight exercises like squats and calf raises.
For aerobic exercise, seniors can walk outside or on a treadmill, cycle on a stationary bike, or try 5-minute intervals of classic aerobic moves like jumping jacks and knee lifts. Finally, large range-of-motion stretches and yoga pose such as downward-facing dog and warrior pose are excellent ways for seniors to stay limber because it focuses on balance, strength, and flexibility.
Jan McCormick, Regional Group Exercise Manager at Chuze Fitness
A common routine after hearing over 70 seniors' routines during the pandemic: “Working with GetSetUp”. I have the opportunity to interview our older adult community. I have heard over 70 routines of older adults in the last year and a half. Here is the most common one I hear that seems to be working best for many older adults.
They like to get up and walk, swim, or exercise in some way before breakfast. Then they often take 3-4 classes virtually on topics they are passionate about. Between classes, they find time for lunch. Next, many of them walk again, especially if they have a dog. Then they enjoy cooking some dinner and talking with friends and family on the phone. Finally, they unwind with some TV, a film, a webinar, or some reading.
Participating in or leading interactive virtual classes has helped many of them to find a sense of purpose. It has filled the excess time where they used to go out prior to Covid-19.
Beneficial routines can include regular physical activity like walks or yoga, mental stimulation such as puzzles or reading, and maintaining a healthy diet.
Seniors can safely socialize using virtual platforms like Zoom for group chats, or by practicing safe distancing during outdoor gatherings.
Reliable resources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, local health department updates, and trusted news outlets.
Liz Miller is the Communication Manager at GetSetUp.org. GetSetUp is a live, interactive learning platform for older adults who want to learn new skills, connect with others, and unlock new life experiences.