Squeezing Exercise into Daily Routines

Grandparents walking with grandchildren

It’s important to make exercise part of an older person’s daily routine…

but it’s not always easy. If you consider how much physical activity it takes to cook, clean, and do many of your daily habits, you might be surprised how much exercise you and your loved one are already doing.

Here are some simple daily exercises you may be able to fit into your daily routine with your loved one, if you’re not already doing them! Remember to always check with a doctor before you start any exercise program.

  1. Take walks after each meal. Even if it is around the house, up and down the hall, or a loop around the yard. If a person uses a wheelchair, still get out and stroll around.
  2. Remember to take deep breaths several times a day. This can be done anywhere, anytime.
  3. Have your loved one help with household chores that require physical activity (if appropriate) such as folding laundry, washing or drying dishes, dusting (or sitting and dusting knickknacks while you dust furniture or larger items), sweeping, helping to make a bed, etc…
  4. Take a walk to the mailbox to retrieve the mail.
  5. Water plants. Lifting the watering can can be a strength exercise.
  6. Walk the dog. But be careful not to let the dog trip someone.
  7. Wash a window, picture frame, or mirror.
  8. Turn on some music and dance! Move arms, hands, legs, and/or feet even if your loved one sits in a chair or wheelchair.
  9. Help to make a meal. Stir, mix, pour, slice (if safe), etc… There are many ways to get moving in the kitchen.
  10. Outings usually take a lot of energy and provide a lot of exercise, like walking, lifting, reaching, etc…

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