Why Seniors Should Take Frequent Walks

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Walking provides numerous health benefits for people of all ages, but taking frequent walks is especially beneficial for those in their golden years. Providing both physical and mental health benefits, walking can boost a senior’s health and wellbeing. Here are some reasons your senior loved one should take frequent walks. 

Enhances Mobility

If your loved one has a degenerative disease of the spine, hips, or knees, taking frequent walks can enhance mobility, increase circulation, and relieve pain. Walking may also reduce inflammation, which is one of the main components of arthritic conditions, and it may also reduce the need to take analgesic medication to manage pain. Many pain medications can cause side effects such as gastrointestinal disturbances, dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. Frequent walking is an excellent alternative to pain medication, and it may prove to be even more effective for relieving pain, arthritis-related morning stiffness, and joint inflammation.

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. Elder 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.

Boosts Mood

Seniors can become depressed as a result of loneliness, loss of independence, financial worries, and chronic medical conditions. One way walking boosts mood is by facilitating the release of “feel-good” substances such as serotonin and endorphins. These chemicals are thought to play an important role in relieving depression, insomnia, and anxiety. When walking outdoors and being exposed to sunlight, the body manufactures vitamin D. This hormone may stave off depression and anxiety while keeping the bones healthy and more resistant to fractures.

Lowers Cholesterol

High cholesterol is thought to be a risk factor for heart attack and stroke, and while statin medications can keep cholesterol levels low, they can also cause muscle pain and high liver enzymes. Walking frequently can lower your loved one’s total cholesterol and raise his or her high-density lipoproteins, otherwise known as “good cholesterol.” Higher levels of high-density lipoproteins are thought to be cardioprotective.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Edmonton respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Reduces Blood Pressure

Aging adults who have high blood pressure may benefit from frequent walking because it can help them maintain a healthy weight while preventing hypertension. High blood pressure is a significant risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, blood clot formation, cerebral vascular disease, and renal disease. 

Blood pressure medications are usually prescribed for hypertensive seniors, but some of these medications can lead to dizziness, frequent urination, confusion, very low blood pressure, and muscle weakness. If your loved one experiences side effects from blood pressure medication, walking may be a viable alternative to keeping blood pressure under control. Before encouraging frequent walking, talk to the doctor to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to begin a new walking program. 

Seniors who need assistance with exercising safely can benefit from the help of trained professional caregivers. Edmonton at-home care 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. If you need professional in-home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337.


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