Regular exercise is crucial for people of all ages, and even more so for the elderly. However, the physical activity seniors participate in doesn’t need to be exhausting or difficult. Even something as simple as walking on a regular basis can have a positive impact on your senior loved one’s health. The Westfield live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance want to share some of the benefits your loved one can gain from taking daily walks.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Many seniors have high blood pressure, which can increase their risk of heart attacks, strokes, eye problems, and kidney disease. Walking exercises the heart and helps it pump more effectively, lowering blood pressure levels. Walking for 40 minutes a day has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure. If your loved one tires easily, he or she can break up walks into morning and afternoon sessions and still receive the heart-healthy benefits.
A study conducted by researchers at The University of Texas found seniors who regularly walked had increased memory and brain health. Exercise helps various parts of the body communicate to supply oxygen and heal muscles that were used during certain activities. Researchers believe this increase in communication makes the neurons in the brain more active, which boosts memory skills.
Decreases Depression and Boosts Mood
Endorphins are neurotransmitters known for their ability to block pain receptors in the brain, increase feelings of euphoria, and decrease sadness and depression. Approximately 30 minutes after beginning to exercise, the brain releases endorphins, which give people a feeling of happiness sometimes referred to as a “runner’s high.” Regular walking can help your loved one boost his or her mood and decrease feelings of sadness and depression.
Allows for Socialization
Walking is strenuous enough to make the heart pump fast for a good cardiovascular workout, but it is still slow enough to allow for conversation. Many seniors have few opportunities to socialize, but walking with friends or neighbors is a great way for your loved one to spend time with others, which can keep him or her from feeling lonely or isolated.
Helps with Healthy Weight Management
Excess weight puts your loved one at risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Walking is a low-impact way to burn calories and increase muscle tone, which can help your loved one shed excess pounds and continue to maintain a healthy weight throughout the senior years.
Getting regular exercise can become more challenging with age. Make sure your loved one has the support he or she needs to remain healthy. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can encourage and assist with physical activity, provide social stimulation, and help with many important daily tasks. For more information on in-home care Westfield seniors can count on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 today.