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The Importance of Physical Activity for Seniors in Long-Term Care

September 8th, 2022

Physical activity is important for all of us including seniors in long-term care. Physical activity is correlated with improved physical and mental health and can stop, delay, or in some cases improve mobility issues or decreasing bone density, for example.

In addition to the physical benefits, physical activity also sharpens our minds. When we engage in physical activity, like going for a walk, we will see interesting things, possibly cross paths with others, and it relieves boredom. Seniors in long-term care need a variety of activities to keep them sharp and feeling well.

What Kinds of Physical Activity?

The appropriate physical activity for a senior in long-term care would depend on his or her physical and mental capabilities. For someone with limited mobility, there are still armchair exercises, especially in fitness classes with others for the social component. Even someone in a wheelchair would enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

For someone with good mobility, then walking around the neighbourhood can be very interesting and stimulating. Swimming and aquatic exercises are also good for low-impact exercise because of the buoyancy of water.

How Does Physical Activity Help?

The following information is true for everyone—not just seniors. Physical activity and exercise help our lung function and our weight management. When we engage in exercise, chemicals are released in our brains which make us feel better and reduce pain. Exercise also gives us more energy for other activities, and it also helps us sleep better.

There are so many benefits to physical activity, that it is hard to list all of the reasons why everyone should get some regular exercise. Even if it does not appeal to you immediately, if you start participating in exercise, then you will enjoy it and crave more of it. Long-term care environments will have lots of physical activity choices to help seniors maintain good health.


The Hamlets at Penticton is a supportive, long-term care and assisted-living community in the beautiful Okanagan area of BC. In a compassionate environment based on the tenets of Christianity, The Hamlets of Penticton offers security and independence for seniors in their retirement years.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our community, please get in touch with us by phone, email, or using the handy form on our Contact Page.