The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to daily life, as well as far-reaching consequences even as we are rounding the corner. One such consequence for millions is what being shut inside for over a year has done to physical health. The Washington Post reports on the trend of older adults returning to physical exercise; millions of older adults struggled with physical as well as emotional challenges after being forced to stay at home, and thus stopped usual activities. As a result, older adults are feeling the aftermath—muscle weakness, poor nutrition, disrupted sleep, anxiety, social isolation, and more.
Older adults are now reclaiming their physical health through several expert-approved trends. Reconnecting with physicians is key. Since a large number of older adults have delayed medical care because of the pandemic, they are now resuming regular visits with their primary care physicians. As a part of that medical care, older adults are touching base with their doctors on where their physical function stands now, and where to begin undoing any damage. They are turning to physical or occupational therapists for help working on strength, balance, and a range of motion and stamina. Technology is proving to be an ally in this trend as well; many valuable resources exist for those getting started with physical health, and older adults are increasingly accessing online exercise routines, such as classes offered by the YMCA or those on YouTube.
Although this trend is physical in nature, experts highlight the need to reconnect socially as well. It may be beneficial for many facets of life as older adults delve back into their social support circles and re-engage with loved ones. These social connections and activities have effectively curbed social isolation and loneliness.
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Graham J. How older adults can get back into physical exercise following months of pandemic rules. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/elderly-physical-shape-pandemic/2021/05/28/dda18a24-bd6d-11eb-b26e-53663e6be6ff_story.html. May 31, 2021. Accessed July 13, 2021.