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8 Keys Ways That Walking Can Improve Senior Health

8 Keys Ways That Walking Can Improve Senior Health

A senior couple takes their dog for a walk in the park.

For many older adults, especially those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, finding a way to improve their health is paramount. While it is a fairly simple and straightforward form of exercise, walking has been found to make a profound difference on one’s overall health and wellbeing. Because it is low impact and can be done both indoors and outdoors, walking is an excellent choice for residents of the best memory care communities in Elkhorn.

In this blog, we are going to take an in-depth look at just how walking can be beneficial to senior health. From improved physical wellness to promoting better sleep, here are 8 key reasons that older adults should step out and get walking:

#1.) Builds Muscle Strength

Walking may seem like a straightforward activity, but it’s an excellent way for seniors in our communities to build and maintain muscle strength. As we age, muscle mass tends to decrease, leading to weakness and a higher risk of falls. However, regular walking engages various muscle groups, including the legs, core, and even the upper body when using walking aids. This helps seniors maintain their strength and independence.

When residents in our memory care community embark on daily walks, they engage their leg muscles, which is particularly important for stability and mobility. Strong leg muscles make it easier to stand up from a seated position and navigate stairs or uneven terrain.

Additionally, walking encourages good posture, which is essential for overall muscle health. It strengthens the muscles that support the spine and promotes better alignment, reducing the risk of discomfort and pain associated with poor posture.

#2.) Boosts Mental Health

Our signature LifeCycles Wellness Program at CountryHouse encompasses the social and intellectual dimensions of wellness, and walking plays a vital role in boosting mental health. Taking a stroll outdoors or participating in group walks fosters social interaction, reducing feelings of loneliness and depression. 

Additionally, the fresh air and change of scenery can help clear the mind and improve cognitive function. Walking outdoors can also decrease feelings of anxiety and agitation, which are common behaviors associated with dementia. 

#3.) Supports Spiritual Well-being

Walking isn’t just about the physical and mental aspects of wellness; it can also be a spiritual experience. Residents in our communities often find solace and peace in nature while walking. It’s a time to reflect, meditate, and connect with one’s inner self. A simple walk can be a powerful way to nurture the spiritual dimension of wellness. Helping those living with dementia to feel grounded and connected is extremely beneficial for improving their overall demeanor. 

#4.) Promotes Better Sleep

When you don’t rest well, you don’t feel well. This is because a good night’s sleep is essential for overall well-being. Regular walks can help residents in our memory care community establish a healthy sleep routine. The physical exertion during the day can lead to improved sleep quality, better sleep patterns, and a more restful night’s sleep. As a result, older adults will feel happier, healthier, and better able to connect with others and participate in community activities. 

#5.) Increases Independence

Maintaining independence is a priority for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and seniors in our communities. Walking is a valuable tool in achieving this goal. It helps improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and enhancing confidence in daily activities. Our goal as one of the best memory care communities in Elkhorn is to help our residents to live as independently as possible. We are there to provide compassionate support every step of the way. 

A senior man uses his cane to walk around one of the best memory care communities in Elkhorn

#6.) Supports Weight Management

Weight management is crucial for overall health, and walking is an effective way to help residents in our memory care community achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Regular walks can aid in calorie burning, which, combined with a balanced diet, can contribute to weight control. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight can also decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease, which we’ll touch on next. 

#7.) Bolsters Cardiovascular Health

As mentioned above, walking is a powerful cardiovascular exercise that can help improve heart and lung health. It gets the heart pumping and increases the circulation of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. This, in turn, strengthens the heart muscle, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. 

Furthermore, walking can enhance lung function, helping seniors breathe more easily and efficiently. Walking has also been found to do wonders for decreasing the risk of developing diabetes. If you already have diabetes, walking can help you to manage it. 

#8.) Enhances Overall Quality of Life

Ultimately, our goal as one of the best memory care communities in Elkhorn is to enhance the overall quality of life for our residents. Walking is a holistic activity that addresses physical, mental, social, and even spiritual aspects of wellness. It promotes a sense of purpose and well-being, making every day more meaningful. A walk around our beautiful grounds can do wonders for helping our senior residents to truly feel their best in every aspect of wellness. 

Focus on Wellness as a CountryHouse Resident

At CountryHouse, we understand that wellness goes beyond physical health. Our LifeCycles Wellness Program focuses on nurturing the four dimensions of wellness – social, spiritual, intellectual, and physical. Walking is just one of the many ways we help our residents live their best lives. Other onsite activities include games, music, painting, cooking demonstrations, baking, exercise, and crafts and more. We often bring entertainers on-site for residents’ enjoyment – including singers and musicians, artists and visits from animals.

If you’re interested in learning more about our memory care community and services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to answer your questions and provide you with a tour of our community. Experience the difference at CountryHouse and discover why we’re one of the best memory care communities in Elkhorn. Your journey to improve senior health and well-being starts with us!

Stay for the Winter

If you or your senior loved one aren’t quite ready to transition to a senior living community full time, give CountryHouse a try with our Winter Stay promotion! The person you love will benefit from delicious homemade meals, activities and outings, as well as a community that’s specially designed for those with memory loss. You’ll gain peace of mind knowing that they’re warm, safe and in good hands with our experienced, caring staff. 

Those who place a deposit on a Winter Stay before December 31, 2023, can stay 3 months and get the 4th month of base rent-free. To learn more about it, visit our blog or contact us today!

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