Walking is a form of exercise people of all ages can enjoy, and seniors can especially benefit from making this activity a regular part of their routines. While everyone likely knows walking is important for weight management and heart health, there are some lesser-known reasons your senior loved one should make daily walks a priority.
1. Lower Risk of Bone Loss & Injury
Osteoporosis is a serious concern for seniors because it can lead to an increased risk of injuries due to bone loss. Fortunately, walking is a weight-bearing exercise that can slow or even stop the loss of bone density. It can also increase your loved one’s balance so he or she is less likely to experience a fall.
Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Tucson senior care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
2. Decreased Risk of Alzheimer’s
In a study conducted by the University of Virginia Health System, it was discovered that seniors who walked at least a quarter of a mile each day had half the rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms as those who didn’t walk regularly. While more research is being done to understand why, experts believe it’s related to increased blood flow to the brain. Additionally, seniors who walk every day enjoy mental stimulation from being in new surroundings.
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Tucson Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives.
3. Better Sleep
Most seniors could use more refreshing sleep, and those who have insomnia can ease their symptoms by walking. During a walk, energy is expended while hormones are released to decrease stress. Seniors who walk outdoors also expose their bodies to sunlight, which can regulate the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. To get the most sleep-boosting benefits from a walk, your loved one should avoid walking within two hours before bedtime. Instead, a brief morning walk can get him or her energized for the day and ready for bed by the evening.
4. Increased Joint Health
Many seniors have significant joint pain that interferes with their daily activities. However, it’s important to understand most of the cartilage in a person’s joints doesn’t have its own blood supply. Instead, the cartilage gets nutrients from synovial fluid that circulates during movement. Walking can ensure your loved one’s joints get this important fluid, which is filled with oxygen and nutrients that can slow deterioration.
5. Enhanced Appetite
Because of a slower metabolic rate, chronic illness, mental health issues, or medication side effects, your loved one’s appetite may decrease. Another reason your loved one’s appetite may diminish is because he or she isn’t very active and therefore doesn’t require as many calories. When the body no longer needs a certain amount of calories because of a sedentary lifestyle, the brain suppresses the appetite. To increase your loved one’s appetite, encourage him or her to walk often, which will boost metabolic rate, burn calories, and reestablish hunger signals from the brain.
Seniors who need assistance with exercising safely can benefit from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (520) 276-6555 today.