Walking For The Elderly
Contrary to popular belief, the elderly need to exercise regularly and keep active to stay healthy and physically able. Age reduces muscular strength, balance and co ordination. A sedentary lifestyle adds to it, since it leads to muscles wasting away. If you have always been active, continue with the exercise or sport regimen you are used to. But if you are starting afresh at an advanced age, it would make sense to take a doctor's advice before you get going. Set yourself achievable targets. It is better to start slow and first become more active by participating in community functions. For instance, take up gardening, or so some mall walking before you decide to exercise regularly. These activities will help you get over the inertia of years and prepare you for more action.
Plan For The Activity:
- Dress for the activity and invest in a good pair of shoes and appropriate apparel. This will not only aid the work out but also prevent injury and leave you feeling good.
- Hydrate well. Have enough fluids before, during and after the walk. Carry a small bottle of water with you in the hot summer months.
- Never exercise on an empty stomach or soon after a meal. A gap of two to three hours is recommended after a major meal. If you choose to walk early in the morning, have a couple of low-fat biscuits or half an apple before starting.
- If you are diabetic or have any other serious medical problems, it is advisable to keep some sugar/sweet in your pocket with a medical card where the details of your health and family phone numbers are listed.
Walk With A Friend:
People need company. As they age, they lose out on friends for various reasons. Often, families do not have enough time to spend with the elderly. Old age can be lonely and walking alone will not help get over the loneliness though it will make one feel good from within. So, walk with a friend.
- Invite your friends to join you and make this a social event. Walking with a buddy is also safer for you.
- To make the walk interesting, pack a few sandwiches and have a picnic in the nearby park occasionally.
- Form your own small walking club or join one in your neighborhood.
- Take up an interesting outdoor hobby like bird-watching or walking through historical sites.
Benefits Of Walking For The Elderly