As we are all asked to stay at home at this time, it can be easy for even the most active among us to slip into more sedentary habits and spend more time watching TV. Without your normal routines to keep you going, making this shift can be a real challenge.
But we know keeping fit in mind and body is so important for physical and psychological wellbeing, boosting self-confidence and mood, maintaining cognitive functions, boosting heart health and improving balance and stability.
Fortunately, here at Westacre, we can help. Many of our residents are no longer as physically able as they once were, so our fantastic team are already experts at finding ways to keep physically and mentally active at home – and we thought we’d share a few with you.
We hope this will be particularly useful for those older people in our community who are now self-isolating, foregoing their usually busy lives in order to keep themselves – and others – safe and well.
Instead of putting your feet up, turn your armchair into your personal gym with a few simple exercises – to be done according to your own strength and ability. Try lifting and lowering arms in front of you, marching your feet on the floor, alternating crossing your arms across your body, extending each leg in turn and tapping your heels up and down and if it’s not too strenuous, standing and sitting a few times. Aim for ten minutes a day at least if you can – even a small amount of activity can give your wellbeing a big boost and help you to tone and strengthen.
Definitely not just for children, games are a fun way to keep your brain stimulated and challenged, and offer an opportunity to connect with others as well. We love skittles – good for the body as well as the brain, general knowledge quizzes, board games and cards to name just a few.
Having an outlet for your creativity is really important for everyone – it’s a way to try new things or nurture existing talents, learn from one another, and gain that satisfying feeling of achievement. There is so much you can do inside your own home; our residents enjoy writing and reading poetry, arts and crafts, cooking and music afternoons.
From passing the time of day to discussing current affairs, making time to have a real conversation with someone every day will engage all your faculties, ease anxiety and keep you smiling. It might help to pick a topic or some questions so you’re not short of things to say. Here we use photos and mementos for our life history sessions which help residents take a trip down memory lane and spend some time talking and reminiscing together.
We’re fortunate here to have a beautiful garden where residents can sit out, walk and get a breath of fresh air. Taking a turn about the garden or just getting out on the patio for some sunshine is a great way to take a little exercise and have some mental respite too.
You might be stuck inside – but through the pages of a book you can access countless experiences, worlds and lives. If you struggle with large text books or a magnifying glass, try audiobooks as an alternative.
For more tips and tricks on keeping your mind and body active, get in touch with us!