It’s not uncommon at all for people to hate exercising. But if your senior’s doctor has convinced her that it’s time for her to start moving a little bit more, she may need to try some of these tricks to get past her annoyance with exercise.
Gamify Exercise for Her.
Making a game out of exercise puts an element of fun into the whole experience. You might assign a certain number of points to each type of exercise, for example, and then as your aging family member gets to certain point levels, she unlocks achievements. You can get as complicated as you both want to get.
Set up a Reward System.
If setting up an entire game is too complicated, you and your elderly family member might want to stick with a straight reward system. For every day that your senior exercises each week, she may decide to reward herself with a special meal or a book or movie that she’s wanted to enjoy. The rewards need to be motivating for your senior so that she’ll try to get to them.
Distractions are a really easy way to make exercise a little more palatable and there doesn’t have to be any tracking involved, either. Distractions could be audiobooks, music, or even a favorite television program that plays while your senior exercises. The more entertaining the distraction is the better in terms of keeping your senior moving.
Break Exercise up into Smaller Chunks.
It’s a lot easier to exercise for five minutes than it is to exercise for half an hour, especially if your senior hates to exercise. So breaking up her 20-minute workout into four five-minute chunks can help her to get in the exercise that she wants to get in without feeling like she’s wearing herself out.
Make Exercise a Social Event.
For some people, enjoying exercise with other people is the answer to getting through it. If your elderly family member has friends that want to exercise, too, they might all decide on a type of exercise to do together, like walking. Otherwise, you could exercise with your aging adult or hire senior care providers to help your senior enjoy exercising more.
As your senior starts to feel better and stronger, she may find that her feelings about exercise turn around.