Hello and Happy Hump Day! Wednesday already! I am excited because we are going to one of my favorite restaurants tonight. We haven’t been in two weeks and I miss that place. Today is also a rest day for me and I need it.
Last week I published a post called Fitness 101 for Seniors. Today I have another guest post pertaining to seniors – about walking, one of my favorite things. Enjoy!
Walking for Seniors to Preserve Independence
Staying active to hold on to your independence is one of the most common concerns among senior citizens. Unfortunately for many older people, just getting around can present a challenge. Old injuries, arthritis, and other diseases can make movement difficult. Sometimes a combination of medications can lead to dizziness or light-headedness, and the very real danger from even a minor fall often leaves people feeling stuck.
Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent a fall or injury, especially among seniors, and walking is an incredibly healthy way to get that exercise. Taking a few simple steps to protect yourself can open the world back up and give you a chance to get out there in it.
Go In With a Plan
It is important for anyone with health issues to consult their primary care provider before starting a new workout routine. No one is more qualified than your doctor to evaluate what you are or are not capable of, and what would or would not be healthy behavior for you.
With the approval of your medical provider, it is also a good idea to have a plan for your work out each day. You’ll want to choose a route that is safe, well-lit, and relatively flat for an elderly walker. The journey should last about 15-20 minutes, there and back, and having a landmark in mind will help you to reach your goal every day.
Plotting out a route with a few benches or low walls where you could conveniently stop and rest if you need to is also a good idea. Ideally you’ll want to keep your heart rate up, but your health and safety are the most important considerations.
Walk With a Buddy
Not only is exercise more pleasant with a friend, it is more effective. Talking and walking is more fun, and adds another layer to the workout. It will raise your heart rate and work your lungs, improving cardio-pulmonary health, while the walk itself works out your whole body.
It is also safer to walk with a buddy, especially if falling is a concern. No one wants to find themselves alone and hurt, and if there is a fall and an injury, having someone there with you will make it faster and easier to get the necessary medical attention.
Have a Backup Plan
There is no shame in needing a little extra support to get around. If you use a cane or walker, don’t leave it behind. Finding that you don’t need it is a lot better that finding that you need it, but don’t have it. After all, the best way to retain your independence is to avoid an injury. Carrying your walking aid is right up there with installing home safety equipment like railings along staircases and a grab bar for bathroom safety.
Author Info: Jared Pennington is a long time athlete and health enthusiast. As his parents are getting older, he’s started to do some research into issues related to aging and elder care. He currently writes for Just Home Medical, which supplies home safety aids for people who suffer from mobility issues.
Enjoy your day!