The Surprising Benefits of… Walking!
That’s right, this incredibly simple but incredibly powerful form of exercise is walking! Though we often think of walking as a necessary mode of transportation to get from Point A to Point B, it is actually an extremely beneficial and essential form of exercise.
Especially as people age, energy, mobility, and motivation for hard exercise can decrease. Additionally, as muscle mass and bone density decreases, older adults are more prone to injury. Brisk walking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise that is also easy on the joints.
San Diego’s Top Memory Care and Senior Care Community
There are many reasons someone may decide it is time to move to an independent living home. Independent living offers a chance for seniors to experience the joy of community and activity while not having to worry about the daily grind and upkeep of home life.
MesaView Senior Assisted Living in La Mesa, California is one of the top assisted living facilities in the greater San Diego area. At Mesa View Senior Assisted Living (and at our partner locations: Harbor View Senior Assisted Living and Bay View Assisted Living) our highly competent staff work hard to provide personalized care to each member of our memory care communities.
Walking Meets the Four Core Fitness Areas from the National Institute on Aging
Flexibility: In addition to mitigating the impacts of aging on joints, flexibility can increase range of motion and decrease pain. Flexibility is an important part of continuing the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), the basic tasks of self-care an individual needs to perform on a day-to-day basis. These include dressing, bathing, using the bathroom, and feeding themselves, among other things. The more an individual’s physical flexibility is limited, the harder it becomes to perform even the most basic tasks.
Endurance: Though it might be surprising to some, brisk walking (especially uphill) has great cardiovascular benefits! Endurance training increases energy levels, aids the body in metabolizing fat (which makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight), and helps prevent heart disease.
Strength: Strengthening muscle and bone is essential for maintaining vitality and independence in older years. Feeling like one is physically strong also helps contribute to emotional and mental health.
Balance: Falling becomes a greater risk as people age and the negative effects of a fall also increase exponentially with age. Exercise, like walking, that helps seniors strengthen their ability to balance are very beneficial.
The Benefits of Nature and Social Connection for Seniors
In addition to meeting these core components of fitness for older adults, walking provides great opportunities to spend time in nature and to connect socially with others. Research shows that experiences in nature decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. For Alzheimer’s affected individuals, finding spaces to destress and lower anxiety can be a helpful tool for coping with the difficulties of the disease.
Holistic Memory Care at MesaView Senior Assisted Living in La Mesa, California
At MesaView, we understand that when it comes to caring for those with cognitive decline, it’s vital to consider the entire person. Holistic memory care is defined as engaging a patient’s body, mind, and spirit. From knowing about a resident’s wellness to physical health to hobbies, interests, walks of life and more, caring for the whole person starts with taking the time to understand them. For those with Alzheimer’s, knowing who they were before is just as important as knowing who they are now.
At MesaView, we’re known for our compassionate caregivers, beautiful grounds, and personalized, individualized care. We consider it an honor to walk alongside families as they traverse the challenging and heartbreaking journey of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.