Elderly Care Tips: Increasing Fitness with a Yoga Ball
Helping your parents stay fit and healthy is an important part of your elderly care efforts for them, but that does not mean that you need to have them participating in structured workouts and out on the go all of the time. There are many ways that you can stay active and encourage your parents to use their bodies more so that they can continue to enjoy greater strength, energy, range of motion and flexibility, balance, control, weight management, mobility, and reduced fall risk. One of these ways is to integrate a yoga ball into your usual elderly care routine with them.
A yoga ball is a simple and affordable piece of exercise equipment that you can use in a wide variety of ways to help your parents get more activity into their regular daily routine even if they are not doing regular structured workouts. If they want to use them as part of their workout routine, they can also greatly enhance the benefits of activity to support greater core strength, muscle and joint conditioning, and balance, and they can even burn a few extra calories to help keep their weight under control or aid them in losing some of those extra pounds.
Some ways that you and your parents’ elderly health care services provider can help your parents achieve greater fitness with a yoga ball include:
- Trade your chair. Your quest to have your parents live a less sedentary lifestyle does not have to mean that they never get to sit and watch television or enjoy their favorite crafts and such activities. Simply trade out their usual chair for a yoga ball and make their sitting active. Sitting on a yoga ball immediately forces you to engage your core and the muscles of your hips and thighs to remain balanced. This creates a mini-workout just as you are sitting there. Increase the benefits by bouncing on the ball using your leg muscles or using your abdominal muscles to roll the ball in circles or front and back
- Bump up your yoga. A yoga ball can be extremely helpful in guiding seniors through yoga positions. Having this ball can provide a bit of extra support and balance when doing certain poses, but can make others much more challenging for a boost in their effectiveness. Of course, it is important that any seniors with mobility issues be properly supervised during use of the ball to prevent any falls
- Stretching. Having a piece of equipment to guide and aid in stretching can be extremely effective in helping your aging parents maintain the appropriate form, stretch more deeply, and have more fun with the experience. A yoga ball is a great way to do this. Encourage your parents to hold the ball between their hands and, keeping their arms straight, raise the ball up so it forms an arc from their thighs, over their belly button, in front of their face, and up above their heads so they imagine they are trying to touch the ceiling with it. They can then stretch forward to hand it off to their partner who will reverse the movement to lower the ball and then bring it backup and hand it over again.