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The Benefits of Walking for the Elderly

The simple act of walking can have a significant impact on a senior’s health, even if this activity is only performed for a few minutes a day. If your senior loved one is mobile enough to walk regularly, Redondo Beach elderly care experts recommend doing so as part of a daily routine. Here are some of the benefits your loved one can gain from taking walks.

Provides Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

Hospitals have long recognized the importance of walking when recovering from surgery. Seniors are typically urged to walk as soon as possible following certain types of surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots and pneumonia and to stimulate gastrointestinal function. Walking boosts circulation, which promotes wound healing. It can also restore flexibility and range of motion following joint surgery and increase endurance and cardiac function after a heart attack.

Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

A study conducted in 2010 concluded people who walked 6 miles a week reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline by 50 percent. Exercise increases oxygenation and blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain. This helps promote the growth of new cells and neural pathways, which can slow the rate of cognitive decline.

Lowers the Risk of Falls

Falls are a leading cause of death and long-term disability among seniors. Roughly 1 in 3 seniors over age 65 fall each year. Studies show walking may be even more effective than balance training in preventing falls. Walking on a regular basis builds muscle strength in the legs and core, which is essential for maintaining balance and coordination.

Prevents Many Age-Related Conditions

Walking can help ward off a number of age-related health conditions, including:

  • Diabetes – Physical activity helps the body utilize insulin more efficiently, which can reduce blood glucose levels and prevent blood sugar spikes
  • Osteoporosis - Weight-bearing activities can help post-menopausal women preserve and even build bone density
  • High cholesterol – Regular exercise increases levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in the body, which helps the body flush out the “bad” LDL cholesterol that can clog arteries and cause a heart attack or stroke

Walking can also be helpful for seniors receiving stroke and Parkinson’s care in Redondo Beach. Seniors with these conditions often have difficulty with mobility and need assistance in regaining abilities such as walking. If your loved one needs assistance with mobility and exercise, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our part-time and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide variety of health conditions, helping them maintain their independence. For more information on our elderly care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (310) 504-0506 today.