Why It’s Important to Walk with Your Aging Parents
November 11th, 2014 by John Wilson
Senior living communities are great places to walk.
A sedentary lifestyle is described as living with limited to no physical activity. This way of life is intricately linked to the increased likelihood of being diagnosed with serious illness. Sedentary lifestyles are common in aging parents who may stay home alone, as opposed to parents enrolled in assisted living facilities. These homes include routines usually consisting of mild-to-moderate exercise programs.
Walking Is Easy!
Walking eliminates the need for seniors in assisted living communities to attempt impractical and hectic exercise choices like aerobics, jogging or cycling. It comes naturally and is a stress-free way to reap the benefits of exercise, while stopping to smell the roses. Whether your aging parent is living in senior living communities or at home, it’s important for caregivers to carve out dedicated times for exercise. Walking is a simple exercise that keeps aging parents like yours healthy for longer.
A Myriad of Health Benefits
Walking offers many advantages, including:
- Increased Mobility – One of the top concerns of adult children is their parents’ ability to move around, and walking nurtures independence.
- Pain Management – Your aging parent may be plagued by arthritis; however, studies indicate low-impact exercises like walking decrease joint pain and inflammation caused by degenerative diseases.
- Socialization – We all have a desire to belong. Walking, especially when performed in senior living communities, enhances a sense of togetherness and improves mental health.
- Minimized Risk of Common Diseases – Examples of chronic diseases with signs and symptoms that are lowered by walking include diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking per day cuts down on the possibility of diagnosis. Walking also helps your aging parent maintain an ideal weight, plus decreases falls due to balance and strength issues.
- Better Mental Health – If you have noticed slight trips in your parent’s memory or their sharp wit has deteriorated, suggest walking. It has been clinically shown to increase memory skills. Walking also improves your parent’s mental mood if they’re suffering from conditions like depression, Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Tips for Walking with Aging Parents
Here are a few suggestions to make an easy transition from a sedentary lifestyle to walking:
- Start walking slowly and build up to longer stretches over time.
- Use good exercise basics to minimize stress to the muscles, including warming up with stretches and cooling down with the same.
- Consider walking with your parent to reap some of the rewards described in this post. This helps you gain quality time together, while building memories.
Do you have an aging parent who is considering options for senior living in Oklahoma City? The Village At Oakwood features assisted living services that include enrichment activities at an affordable rate. Contact us to learn more.
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