More than 30 percent of adults 65 and older have diabetes, according to an estimate by the Hormone Health Network. If you have a senior loved one living with diabetes, exercise is commonly recommended to maintain optimal health and keep symptoms in check. Here are six of the top exercises that can be beneficial for senior diabetics.
Putting one foot in front of the other is a simple and effective way for seniors with diabetes to increase circulation, get down to or stay within a healthy weight range, and strengthen key muscle groups in the core and lower body. Diabetic seniors are encouraged to walk briskly at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week, when possible.
For optimal health, it’s essential for seniors with diabetes to adopt healthy habits, including regular exercise. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.
2. Yoga & Tai Chi
Healthline.com notes that loss of coordination is a common issue with diabetes when there’s nerve-related damage contributing to muscle weakness. Yoga and tai chi can increase balance and coordination in diabetic seniors because they use slow, controlled movements that target core and lower-body muscle groups.
A review of several studies published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found blood sugar and A1C levels were reduced by practicing tai chi. Additionally, according to Diabetes UK, certain yoga poses may enhance insulin regulation by gently stretching the pancreas, which creates insulin-producing beta cells. Yoga and tai chi can also ease stress and promote relaxation—two other things that are beneficial for seniors with diabetes.
3. Weight Training
If muscle mass is low in diabetic seniors, it can be challenging for the body to manage blood sugar levels. Weight training is an effective way to increase muscle mass and keep glucose numbers within an acceptable range. Weight training exercises recommended for seniors include:
• Overhead shoulder presses
• Forward lunges
• Arm curls
4. Stationary Bicycling
Aerobic exercise of this nature is often recommended for people with diabetes to increase heart and lung health, burn calories, and boost circulation. A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found casual bicycling on a stationary bike can lower blood pressure. This is beneficial for diabetic seniors, since diabetes damages arteries and increases the risk of developing high blood pressure.
If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her exercise habits closely, but a professional caregiver can do this and much more. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Low-impact exercises like swimming can be especially beneficial for senior diabetics. Swimming is also ideal for older adults because it doesn’t put too much pressure on joints due to the buoyancy of the water. This can also be better for seniors who already have difficulty with land-based exercises. What’s more, swimming in a heated pool allows seniors with diabetes to increase circulation and tissue healing, two of the top benefits associated with heat. Other water-based forms of exercise, such as water aerobics, can produce similar benefits.
Not every exercise that’s good for senior diabetics has to involve weights, a pool, or a trip to the gym. The simple act of dancing, whether it’s done while standing or when seated (for older adults with limited mobility), can provide an assortment of diabetic-friendly benefits. According to Cleveland Clinic, these include shedding excess pounds, easing stress, increasing flexibility, and lowering blood sugar.
Even seniors who face serious health challenges such as diabetes can live in safety and comfort at home with the help of trained professional caregivers. Oshkosh elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (920) 573-6295.