Over the mountain and through the woods…

This time of year is often filled with time spent with family. And, while a nice meal and relaxing with grandparents and older relatives is great, being active together is another way to bring more fun to a visit.

Having older adults in your family model and engage in physical activity can show your kids that everyone, no matter their age, can benefit. It’s also a chance for you and your kids to support healthy aging in your loved ones. Maintaining routine movement and strength-based activities throughout one’s lifetime, including in older age, is key to staying healthy. According to the World Health Organization, it is recommended that older adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity throughout the week.¹ But, be sure to have your loved one talk with their health professional about the types and amounts of physical activity most appropriate for them.

When visiting with grandparents or older friends and family, there are a number of ways to include movement and physical activity that all generations will enjoy.

  • Play some oldies music and have grandparents teach you and your kids old dance moves
  • Take a brisk walk around the neighborhood
  • Lead your family in seated yoga poses that all abilities can participate in, like spine twists, arm circles, and leg lifts, like this series
  • Host a step challenge among your family members. Find a set of stairs and take turns going up and down them in a set amount of time
  • Put on an exercise video that is tailored to older adults but have everyone participate in the movements

By building in time for physical activity as a family, everyone benefits!

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

¹Physical Activity and Older Adults. World Health Organization website. http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_olderadults/en/

² Try 9 Easy Chair Yoga Poses. Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials website. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/10/sitting-job-try-9-easy-chair-yoga-poses-infographic/

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