Why Should Your Parent Walk for Exercise?
If your parent is spending too much time on the couch or in their favorite chair, it may be time to encourage them to start a walking program. Walking is a great form of exercise for seniors because it is low-impact, safe and easy to do, and it doesn’t cost a penny!
Scientific evidence also supports walking as beneficial for seniors. According to a 2008 study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia, walking just might help your parent to remain independent for longer. The study involved 26 adults aged 60 and older who were split into two groups. One group attended nutrition classes and the other group engaged in a walking program. At the end of the study, the walkers improved their physical function scores by 25 percent and reduced their risk for disability by 41 percent. The non-walking group actually experienced a decrease of 8.3 percent in their physical function scores. Another study conducted by the University of Tennessee found that walking resulted in less body fat for women.
If the scientific evidence isn’t enough to convince your parent, here are five more reasons to slip on some walking shoes, grab a family member, friend, or home care provider, and head for the nearest sidewalk.
#1 Walking Gets the Blood Pumping
Walking improves circulatory health. It raises the heart rate, making the heart stronger and preventing heart disease. It also lowers blood pressure.
#2 Walking Makes People Happier
Exercise has a positive effect on mood because it causes the body to release endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical that reduces the brain’s perception of pain and causes a person to feel good. This good feeling is sometimes called a “runner’s high.”
#3 Walking Helps Keep the Brain Sharp
In a study performed at the University of California, San Diego, women who walked 2.5 miles per day experienced a memory decline of 17 percent while women who walked less than half a mile each week had a 25 percent decline.
#4 Walking Improves Joint Health
Most of the cartilage found in joints is not connected to a blood supply. Instead, it is fed by synovial fluids that circulate through the joints as a person moves. If a person is sedentary, joints don’t get enough of the nutrients they need from synovial fluids.
#5 Walking Reduces the Risk for Fractures
Walking helps to strengthen the bones and can stop bone loss. One study showed that women who walk at least 30 minutes per day can reduce their risk of hip fractures by 40 percent.
If your parent is reluctant to start a walking program because they fear falling and injuring themselves, a home care provider can help. Home care providers can walk with your parent to ensure their safety and prevent falls. They can also make certain your parent is properly attired for the weather and wearing good, sturdy shoes that will reduce the risk for falling.
If you or a loved-one are considering homecare in Woodbridge, VA, to help with motivation and exercise each day, please contact the caring staff at Quality Health Services LLC. Call today 703-910-7081.
Leave a Comment