Lisa Conway – Hometown News

Q:  How do I get my Mom to exercise?

A:  With age, we tend to slow down and become less active. This may be because of health issues, increased weight, discomfort –or even a fear of falling. But an active lifestyle is essential to both our physical and emotional well being as we age. It can boost energy, protect heart health, manage illness symptoms and allow for greater independence. Plus, regular exercise elevates your mood, can keep your mind sharp and even help with memory!   

  • People who exercise… have fewer problems with immunity and digestive functioning. They often have better blood pressure and bone density numbers and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and even come cancers.
  • The evidence is in: Exercise improves strength, flexibility and posture! These attributes are key for balance and coordination and can reduce the risk of falls. Stretching and strength training may also help alleviate discomfort from chronic conditions like arthritis.
  • As we age… our metabolism slows and maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge. Regular activity increases your muscle mass and nudges your metabolism, helping you achieve a healthy body weight.
  • Improve brain function. Increased physical activity can help prevent memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia. It can also aid in other brain functions like creativity and multi-tasking.
  • Quality sleep is vital for your physical and mental health. Exercise helps you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply and awake feeling refreshed.
  • Exercise relieves stress! Endorphins released during activity help elevate your mood. And who doesn’t feel better after fitting into favorite clothes again?

Staying active is crucial to aging well. If your mom needs guidance, her insurance company may have a program that pairs her with a therapist or trainer. Her doctor might also write an order for a physical therapy evaluation, to identify safe and beneficial activities. Don’t forget fun! The best exercise is one that we enjoy — and keeps us coming back for more.

One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.comLisa Conway is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera.