Your mom’s recent yearly health exam went well. Her doctor does want her to increase her daily activities in an attempt to lower her blood pressure. When she’s not used to being active, how do you get her to change her ways?
Join your mom in her new goals. If she hates walking alone, join her for daily walks. Find somewhere that excites her and makes her want to explore. She may not like walking around her neighborhood, but a boardwalk trail along a lakeshore or beachfront appeals to her. She might prefer walking in a park that has paved trails that go into the woods.
If she isn’t excited about walking, she might find a dance class, swimming pool, or bicycle is more appealing. Try different things during the week and keep track of the activities that she enjoyed.
You may not live close enough to do this. If that’s the case, you’ll need to find a family caregiver or home care aide who can walk with her. She may enjoy getting out with her grandchildren and is more willing to be active if they’re involved.
Try New Things
Try new activities from time to time for a change of pace. If you usually take walks together or take Yoga classes together, try something completely new. Go on a trail ride on horseback one week and see what she thinks. Take her golfing or play a round of disc golf. You might try paddleboarding or snow-shoeing and discover she loves those activities.
What are some other activities worth trying? Consider mountain biking or cross country skiing. Go on easy hikes while birdwatching. Tai Chi is good for strengthening muscles and reducing stress, so that’s another good exercise to try.
Start Small and Work From There
Don’t expect your mom to jump in and get the full 30 minutes each day from the start. If she’s out of shape, it’s going to take time. Start small with 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there. As her stamina improves, increase the length of time she’s active.
At first, it may be best to take three 10-minute walks each day. As she finds her joints don’t hurt and she’s able to walk farther, increase it to a 20-minute walk and see how she does. Keep going until she can be active for the full 30 minutes at once.
Make Sure She Has Support at Home
Have you considered having home care aides during the week? While you’re at work, home care aides can join your mom for walks, drive her to local trails for outdoor excursions, and bring her to a physical therapist or personal trainer to help her strengthen her muscles and improve balance. Call to learn more.