Heading out for a stroll is an activity that can be accessible and enjoyable for seniors of a range of fitness levels and mobile capabilities. The list of activities older adults can take part in to keep themselves active, engaged, and interested throughout the day is extensive. There is a huge selection of possible low impact activities to accommodate almost any preference and physical ability.
Walking is one of the most practical and easily accessible activities for seniors because it can be done just about anytime and anywhere. Whether it be a relaxing stroll out in nature, a walk around the mall, a jaunt around your favourite area, or just getting up to walk around the house to get the blood flowing, there is something for everyone. Getting out for a walk seems like such a simple practice, but it can have tremendous health benefits for seniors in lasting and meaningful ways.
The Magnificence of a Basic Walk
When it comes to the advantages of regular exercise, the list is long and the aspects that resonate often differ from person to person. The wonderful thing about walking is that it can benefit seniors on many levels, including physical, mental, and emotional. The following are some ways in which a walking can contribute to improved overall health and wellbeing.
- Improved Balance and Stability: One way walking is good for the body is by enhancing balance, coordination, and stability. Falls are the biggest factor for injury and hospitalization for people over the age of 65. Better balance and stability goes a long way to boost confidence and help prevent falls and injury.
- Better Quality Sleep: Physical exercise like walking helps tire out the body in a healthy way that can help promote a deeper and more restful sleep. Walking outside in fresh air can be especially beneficial as the combination of movement and outdoor air can help seniors fall asleep more easily and stay asleep for longer.
- Increased Blood Flow: Poor circulation is a problem that plagues a high percentage of seniors. Weak blood flow results in the body’s cells not getting sufficient levels of nutrients and oxygen to function at optimal levels. Getting up and moving helps facilitate blood flow, improving circulation throughout the better immune function and protection against illness and disease.
- Strengthens Muscles: Walking is a great way to strengthen different muscles in the body in a low-impact and minimally strenuous way. This also helps to increase stability, mobility, and fall prevention.
- Opportunity for Mindfulness: Many people enjoy walking meditation and use walking as an opportunity to practice mindfulness and try being present and in tune with thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations. Walks outdoors on nature trails are a great way to ease stress and tension and reconnect with the natural world.
- Connection with Surroundings: Even if not on a nature trail, walking around can help seniors feel more connected to their environment and to the things that are going on around them. It can also be a healthy way to interact with friends and family.
- Social Opportunity: Walking can be done alone, but can be a perfect opportunity for social activity as well. Seniors can head out with their pals to catch up while they walk or can even join walking groups as an opportunity to meet new people and get social.
- Mood Booster: Walking has been proven to help lower anxiety and stress, as well as to elevate positive emotions such as joy, happiness, and a sense of calm.
- Improved Cognitive Function: The increased circulation and elevated mood associated with walking helps deliver more blood to the brain, increasing sharpness, memory, and critical thinking.
Walking is fantastic activity for seniors’ minds and bodies and can be beneficial when added into daily routines. Even seniors who are less mobile can reap some of the benefits by getting out for a short time or by going out for a stroll with their mobility devices and some friends. Walking offers an excellent opportunity for seniors to chat, visit, think, engage, explore, exercise, and just be.