Many centuries ago, walking was the only mode of transportation for humans. Going from one place to the next meant using your two feet. As time progressed, humans found alternative means to getting around, more quickly, using horses and bicycles as well as cars and trains. Today, most people are so used to technology getting them from one place to another that they search for a parking spot closest to the door when heading to the grocery store, just to avoid a long trek inside!
With the warm weather upon us, we all should re-evaluate how much time we are spending indoors and driving from to close by places. Walking has so many benefits for all of us, especially seniors. It can improve our health and wellbeing and boost our quality of life by helping us ensure that we live independently for longer. In this blog post, our professional home care agency in Vancouver explores the 5 main benefits of walking for seniors with the hopes that it will motivate you and the senior in your care to enjoy the outdoors more…whenever possible.
5 Reasons Why Seniors Benefit from Walking Regularly | Home Care Vancouver
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
The biggest advantage you gain from walking is improved cardiovascular health. Walking helps lower risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cardiac arrest. Even the smallest amount of walking each week can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risks by as much as 20%. Walking does not have to be an activity of its own. It can easily be incorporated into daily activities, such as grocery shopping and trips to the bank and the mall.
2. Strengthens Bones and Muscles
Many people erroneously believe that exercises such as walking can have a negative effect on joint health. Not only is walking a low-impact exercise that is not likely to cause an injury, but it actually averts some cases of arthritis and lessens existing arthritis pain too. The reason for this is that walking lubricates joints and strengthens muscles. Walking also strengthens bones, which is important to the prevention osteoporosis or the lessening of the disease’s effects.
3. Lifts Depression and Eases Anxiety
Depression and anxiety symptoms often improve with walking exercises. It helps release feel-good endorphins, which are natural stress relievers that leave each person feeling happy and satisfied. Walking is also beneficial in that it helps seniors get more social interaction. Seniors get the chance to meet and socialize with others and exchange a friendly smile or greeting.
4. Decreases Risk of Falls
Adults over the age of 65 are at a higher risk of trips and falls, which can prove to be detrimental to their overall health and ability to stay independent. Regular walking exercises are known to improve strength and flexibility, which also helps with balance and coordination thus reducing the risk of falls. Seniors take much longer to recover from falls, so anything that helps prevent them in the first place is crucial.
Before You Take the Walk
As caregivers we know how difficult it could be to make walking a part of seniors’ daily routines, especially when there are health risks and limitations involved. The following are some tips you can use to encourage an older loved one/patient to make walking a part of their life:
• Start small. It is easier to start with light walking for short distances than to take a long, brisk walk.
• If your loved one or patient is not interested in leisure walking, try building the exercise into a daily activity, such as a trip to the grocery store or to the bank.
• Encourage them, but do not push them past their comfort zones!
Almost every older person can do some form of exercise. But before you begin, talk to your GP about the level of exercise that’s right for you. This is especially important if the senior has not exercised for a while.
ACE PERSONNEL | PROFESSIONAL CAREGIVERS FOR ELDERS & HOMECARE | VANCOUVER AND SURREY
ACE Personnel is a family owned and operated service founded in 1977 by Diane Anderson (“Mrs. A”). It began as a home based business and has since been devoted to helping the local community with childcare and home care solutions. Mrs. A took great pride in the fact that she was able to help others through elderly care and nanny placements. She took time to get to know her each of her clients and as a result developed lasting relationships with many of them.
Contact us today if you are looking for a professional caregiver or homecare for your loved one.