Many of us in the Sandwich Generation are dealing with arthritis - in our elderly parents as well as in our own bodies

7 Fun and Physical Baby Boomer and Senior Citizen Activities Ideas to Stay Active and Help Your Aging Parents Do The Same Even When You Hurt

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Caring for the elderly parents - stick on posterAre you caring for elderly parents with health issues? Study after study tells us that a key component to staying healthier, mentally as well as physically, is staying active. That's generally pretty easy for me. With a senior mom who loves walking and several active grandkids who keep me running – literally – as we enjoy games like tag, softball, and Simon Says, I definitely don't slow down very often. But there are those days, sometimes weeks, with too little sleep or painful arthritis flare-ups, and then it gets a bit harder to find fun and physical senior citizen activities we can actually participate in.

Some of the ways we "encourage" ourselves to stay active, even then, include:

  1. Mini Exercise Bike – Our favorite brand, the Carex Digital Pedal Exerciser, fits nicely in any room, is easy to use and allows us to sit comfortably on the couch and watch TV while we pedal away. It's easy enough that even a sweet senior friend with advanced Alzheimers Disease symptoms is able to do this and enjoys it.
  2. When my senior mom goes for a walk, I try to keep her company if my schedule permits. It forces me to get up and get moving, even though it's a slower pace than I would normally enjoy. It also gives us some nice talk-time which is good for both of us emotionally. 
  3. If the grandkids are over and the weather is nice but I'm not feeling up to doing much, I'll often pop them in the car and head for one of our two favorite parks. They can have fun with all the playground equipment. I can sit and watch. It at least gets me moving a bit and often the fun will be so contagious I'll do a bit more than I planned.
  4. If I'm by myself, I try to park fairly far out in a parking lot. This forces me to walk some extra steps. 
  5. During bad weather, my senior mom and I will head to a nearby Walmart. We can get our shopping done and get some healthy, warm, and dry exercise.
  6. If you have a heated swimming pool available, with fairly warm water temperature, walking in it can be a great way to exercise easily. Many of the YMCAs, YWCAs or other health clubs offer some type of "Twinges in the Hinges" classes in the water for just that reason. You can also check with various physical therapy businesses that provide aquatics therapy. They may also offer use of their pool for exercises to private users for a monthly payment. And there's an excellent chance their pool will be warmer than most heated pools. I personally love the temps to be around 90 degrees.
  7. Speaking of health clubs, there are many that offer great equipment and warm facilities to give you a chance to get out and about and exercise. Some seniors are blessed to have a senior facility nearby, allowing for healthy exercise and senior social opportunities. 24 Hour Fitness is a family favorite and when I was visiting one, I noticed a wide mix of ages so that any age should feel comfortable using it. Some of the retirement communities provide health facilities as well. Even if there is a monthly charge, it can be well worth the cost as long as you go at least once a week. 

Walking or jogging can be great exercise for the Sandwich Generation and their elderly parents and can be done in the water as aquatic exercisesHowever we do it, it's vital for you and me, as well as your senior parents, to stay active, ideally on a daily basis. You'll usually feel better, fight off germs easier, and have more energy. And what's really nice for those of us in the Sandwich Generation is that most, if not all, of these ideas work well with our sweet grandkids. That's definitely a win-win-win for all of us!

P.S. Happy Pink Saturday – another fun weekly "exercise" for the Sandwich Generation. 

The Wright Stuff
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  1. Hi Kaye,
    Oh, I was so happy to get your note…and I can’t wait for you to have your book published–It’s so exciting. (By the way, I love that pic of you.)

    I can’t wait to hear what you think of the books…so FUN to write! and I know you’ll have fun writing yours too.

    Happy Pink Saturday!


    • Ann
    • September 24, 2011

    Been thinking a lot lately on being physically fit as I grow older. It is really an important thing for me. Thanks for all the tips.

  2. Thank you for all these great suggestions. At my age, I need all the help I can get.

    • Cindy Adkins
    • September 24, 2011

    RT @SandwichINK: 7 Fun and Physical Baby Boomer and Senior Citizen Activities Ideas to Stay Active and Help Your Aging

    • Linda
    • September 25, 2011

    Hi Kaye, Happy Pink Saturday. Thanks for your visit and comments. Have a great week. Linda

    • Melissa
    • September 25, 2011

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. It is also important to look at the diets of persons suffering from certain ailments. I have been doing my own research and I have found that nightshade foods can cause many issues with joints, nerves and muscles. When I do not eat them I feel fine, when I eat them, all sorts of aches and pains pop up and I’m only in my mid-forties. I hope the rest of your weekend is fine. -Melissa

  3. You and me both, Ann! And you’re very welcome! 🙂

  4. You and me both, LaVoice – as I sit here with a sore neck from sleeping funky. OYYYY 🙂 But grandson on the way so I will definitely be staying active today. 🙂

  5. Thanks Cindy! And WOOHOO -how exciting that your Kindle books – Blog From the Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Blogging and Blogging – It’s a “Woman Thing” have zoomed up so fast on the Amazon chart!!! Mega Congrats! 🙂

  6. Dear Kaye
    Thank you so so much for coming to visit me. Mom is in her own little world right now, but in constant pain. Couldn’t make her walk if we wanted to. Although her minds thinks she can just get up and ho home (at times) she cannot.
    Your blogs looks and sounds full of wonderful advice. I’ve never heard the term “sandwich” before, lol.
    You are one busy, funky lady : )

  7. Hello Kaye, thank you for your comment on Pink Saturday. We did have a wonderful time being together. It looks like some cooler weather is coming this way by the weekend. The leaves will color up when we have a cold spell. Smile.
    Have a wonderful week and thank you for all the advice you share on your terrific Blog.
    XO, Jeanne

  8. You always seem to write what I need to read. I am working on a lot of life style changes now to become more active. As a night shift worker, that requires a lot of rest, some times that is difficult after heart surgery. Each day I keep a positive attitude and do a little more as I can. I am looking forward to a new grandchild in March. I so wish there was not a distance of more than 1000 miles to Florida where my daughter lives. I will enjoy any time that I get though with the new baby.

  9. Oh Ann, I bet! Mega congrats! And thank you so much. Your sweet words of encouragement are such a blessing to me.

    • caringforasenior
    • December 22, 2011

    Taking walks is the best step. It gets me closer to my senior dad and also helps him (and me) stay healthy!

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