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How to Encourage Aging Malaysian Parents to Be Active

As filial Asian children, we all know that our parents have worked hard all their lives to provide for us. To live a longer, healthier life, it is crucial to motivate them to stay active as they get older. Proper physical exercises can help to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, and it can also help to reduce the risk of falls and other injuries.


Sedentary Malaysian parents

Studies have show that approximately half of the Malaysian older population are physically inactive! Here are a few tips on how to encourage your aging moms and dads to be active:

  • Set a good example. If you want your parents to be active, make sure you are active yourself. This will show them that it is important to you, and it may encourage them to follow your lead.

  • Find activities that they enjoy. Not everyone enjoys the same activities, so it is important to find activities that your parents enjoy. This could be anything from walking to swimming to engaging in certain sports.

  • Make it easy for them to get started. If your sedentary parents are not used to exercising, it may be helpful to make it simple for them to begin This could mean taking them to a park or gym, or providing them with exercise equipment at home. Engaging with a physiotherapist with experience in elderly fitness is a great option to start from!

  • Be patient and supportive. It may take some time for your parents to develop the habit of being active. Be empathetic and understanding, reassure them that you are always there if they need help on their fitness journey.


Here are some additional tips that may be helpful:

  • Talk to your parents about their health goals. What do they hope to achieve by being more active? Once you know their goals, you can help them to develop a plan to reach them.

  • Make exercise fun. If your parents are not used to working out, it may help to make exercises FUN. This could involve playing games, strolling in the nature (parks), or even taking a dance class.

  • Set realistic goals. Don't expect your parents to go from being sedentary to being active overnight. Start with small goals, such as walking for 10 minutes a day, and gradually increase the amount of activity as they get stronger.

  • Celebrate successes. When your parents reach their fitness goals (even something as simple as walking 10,000 steps a day), be sure to celebrate their success. This will help to motivate them to continue being active. Don't overindulge on the Nasi Lemak though!


Physiotherapist or physical therapist teaching elderly parents exercise


By following these tips, you can help your aging parents to live a healthier and happier life.

Here are some specific activities that may be enjoyable and beneficial for aging Malaysian parents:

  • Tai chi: Tai chi is a low-impact exercise that can help to improve balance, flexibility, and strength. It is also a great way to reduce stress and improve mental focus.

  • Qigong: Qigong is another low-impact exercise that can help to improve circulation, reduce pain, and improve overall health.

  • Water aerobics: Water aerobics is a great way to get exercise without putting stress on joints. It is also a lot of fun!

  • Gardening: Gardening can be a great way to get exercise and fresh air. It can also be a rewarding way to connect with nature.

  • Volunteering: Volunteering is a great way to stay active and give back to the community. It can also be a great way to meet new people and make friends.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are many other activities that may be enjoyable and beneficial for your pa and ma. Talk to your parents about their interests and find activities that they are likely to stick with. Or better yet, give us a call so that we can make working out fun, engaging and progressive for your parents. With your encouragement and support, they can live a long, healthy, and active life!

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