Exercise is an important part of keeping older adults healthy. However, certain chronic conditions make regular exercise even more important. This is true for seniors with Parkinson’s disease. Exercise can help seniors with the disease to maintain their balance and mobility for longer. Not everyone enjoys exercising, though.
Finding fun forms of exercise is a major part of making it a regular activity since it’s difficult to continue doing something you don’t enjoy. One way to make exercising fun is to use exergaming. A recent study shows that exergaming is an effective form of exercise for older adults with Parkinson’s disease. It may even help to slow progression.
What is Exergaming?
Exergaming is exercise that includes a technological element. One example that comes easily to mind for most people is sports-themed video games that involve movements to play, such as Wii’s tennis, bowling, and baseball. However, there are other forms of exergaming, including the use of stationary bicycles that use a computer screen to display results or to simulate a bike path and its surroundings.
There are many benefits of exergaming for older adults. For one thing, it’s fun. It takes a person’s desire to compete and reach a goal and uses it to encourage them to keep exercising. Exergaming can also be used to incorporate social interaction since people can compete against each other.
Studies show that exergaming has a positive effect on fitness, too. The American Heart Association published a report on exergaming that suggested it was a good way for people with heart problems to increase their physical activity.
What Does Research Concerning Exergaming and Parkinson’s Say?
Researchers in Holland conducted a study that they named the “Park-in-Shape” study. In Holland, bike riding is extremely popular. So, the researchers used that love of bicycling as part of the study in which a control group did stretching exercises while the test group used stationary bicycles.
The bicycling group used stationary bikes that had computer screens that offered games and motivation to keep cycling. They rode for 30 to 45 minutes per day on three days of the week over a six-week period. Some of the motivational games used, let the participants ride against themselves in the form of a “ghost rider.” Others let them ride against a group of riders.
The results of the study indicated the bicycling group had better mobility than the group that just did stretches. In addition, their cardiovascular systems were healthier.
If your older family member is interested in trying exergaming as part of their fitness routine, home care can help. If the senior is using a stationary bicycle or other equipment, a home care provider can assist them to get set up to exercise. A home care provider can also play active video games with the older adult, giving them someone to compete against and enjoy the game with. In addition, a home care provider can monitor the older adult to ensure they remain safe during exercise.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Chadds Ford, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care.
Call today: (484) 206-4544
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