Monitoring Physical Activity
Staying active is perhaps the single most important factor in maintaining seniors’ quality of life. Regular physical activity protects joints, prevents falls and injuries and reduces risk of disease. It is important to communicate being active does not just mean jogging or going to the gym. For example, low-impact activities, such as gardening, birdwatching or simply walking a little more, can be great ways to stay active.
- Talk to your patients about their level of physical activity. Recommend they start physical activity or increase or maintain their level of activity.
- Thirty minutes per day of aerobic activity is recommended. If it’s easier for patients, the activity can be spread across three 10-minute periods throughout the day.
- If talking about exercise with some patients seems difficult, focus on ways to reduce inactivity (e.g., the amount of time spent sitting). Even just walking across the room or standing and stretching several times a day (e.g. during TV commercials) will help.
- Consider physical therapy for patients with pain or functional impairments.
- Follow up on discussions and action plans to encourage patients to continue being active.