Hiking is gaining popularity among seniors as a form of low-impact exercise that requires little more than a good pair of shoes and a bottle of water. Seniors who spend some time walking outdoors may gain the following 4 benefits.
1. Weight Management
Seniors who face challenges with obesity are at greater risk for serious health problems like heart disease and strokes. Walking is an exercise almost everyone can perform, and going for longer distances increases the calories burned during each workout session. Because hiking offers opportunities for exploration, seniors may be more motivated to stay on track with their exercise regimen.
2. Positive Mental Health
It is now known spending time around nature can have a positive impact on a senior’s mental health. Whether a senior hikes through a community garden or heads into the mountains, the effect is usually the same. After an outdoor hike, seniors enjoy a greater feeling of relaxation that carries through the rest of their day.
3. Increased Strength and Flexibility
For many seniors, health conditions like arthritis are barriers to exercise. However, hiking allows seniors to go at a comfortable pace and select a route that fits their abilities. As seniors hike, moving their joints and muscles loosens up any stiffness, which helps reduce pain. Walking on slightly uneven terrain also challenges their core muscles and helps them retain their balance.
4. Opportunities for Socialization
At any age, it is always best to hike with a partner. This is especially important when walking on a natural trail. Seniors who hike often enjoy being accompanied by their friends and Folsom respite caregivers. Conversing during a hike is also a wonderful bonding opportunity that allows seniors to blend their need for physical activity and socialization into an experience that is fun for everyone. Seniors can even find hiking groups in their area that lead to more friends who all have a focus on staying physically fit
Whether it’s hiking or another form of physical activity, it’s important to encourage your aging loved one to engage in regular exercise. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a program called the Balanced Care Method, which is designed to motivate seniors to exercise frequently, eat well, and focus on other lifestyle factors that can increase their longevity. To learn more about the home care Folsom, Granite Bay, and Placer County families trust, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.