The main things to keep in mind when making an exercise program for anyone is that it should be tailored to their specific interests. For the elderly one must consider their present physical condition, accessibility of equipment, mental and social needs. A high intensity running program will do no good if the person has an artificial knee. Conditioning programs are only good if they are applicable to one's way of life.
Goals and Expectations should also be tailored to the individual, so that one isn't over or under stressed. For the elderly it is important to start out low because if you start too high then frustration will form and a lack of compliance will likely follow, totally defeating the purpose.
Rhythmic movements have proved extremely well when training large muscles, they help increase the blood flow to the muscles and raise the heart rate. These movements also enhance strength and endurance in a safe manner. It is really important to work on large muscles in the elderly because they tend to get weak very quickly, without exercise. The main reason it is important to keep the large muscles healthy is so that the elderly can stay active.
When starting to exercise one should start out relatively slow and progress daily. One should start out exercising perhaps 2-3 times per week and then progress to 4-5 times per week. Duration of exercise should start out slow as well and increase with time, for example maybe start out exercising for 10- 1 5 minutes and as time goes on increase to 30-45 minutes. The main thing is to stay at a pace which is comfortable for the individual, but not excessively easy.
Intensity is very important for the elderly when exercising because it is imperative that they don't go too hard. They should probably get to about working out at near 70% of their maximum ability. Intensity can be monitored and controlled by determining heart rate and keeping close attention to blood pressure. Sometimes stress tests can be helpful as well
The exercise program should start out with a gentle and fun warm up, followed by an extensive stretching regiment. Aerobic activity should start slowly and gradually increase to peak performance at the midpoint of the session. After the exercise is over a cool down session is necessary as well as more stretching to keep all the muscles free from cramps.
There is much to gain from exercising for the elderly and all people for that matter. When we exercise we help our bodies to become more fit, and that alone is very beneficial to us. The more fit people are the less likely they are of having health problems. Also it helps people to feel good about themselves and forces people to stay active. As a result of being active we end up meeting people and doing new things and getting more out of life. People who are less fit tend to hide themselves away and wind up missing out on lots of things in life. Exercise opens people up for themselves and for others regardless of age.
As previously stated it is important to tailor one's exercise program specifically to their needs and abilities, and there are some other factors that need recognition as well. It's important to keep in mind cost and travel when setting up programs, as well as other restricting conditions.