Some seniors may be wary of hiking, as it can be a rigorous activity. However, with a bit of preparation, they can reap all the health benefits of walking in the great outdoors, ranging from enhanced mental state to increased cardiovascular health. Here are some of the many benefits of hiking for seniors.
Strengthens the Bones
Hiking is a weight bearing exercise, which means it forces the body to work against gravity. Weight bearing exercise strengthens the bones because the stress put on the bones during exercise forces the bone cells to create more bone tissue. Senior women are especially at risk for osteoporosis, so it’s important for them to do weekly weight bearing exercises such as hiking. Hiking is an excellent choice for all women, as it can be customized to an individual’s athletic level. Seniors in great shape can go on tough hikes across rugged terrain, while those just getting started can try gentle walks.
Older adults who need help hiking or engaging in another activity can benefit from professional in-home care. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care company, Bethlehem, PA, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
Many seniors experience frequent stress. Studies suggest being outside can alleviate feelings of anxiety, as green spaces ease stress levels. It’s important for seniors to lower their stress levels because heightened stress can negatively impact their health. Stress can raise blood pressure levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Taking a calming walk in the woods, park, or nature reserve may boost a senior’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Strengthens the Core
When hiking outdoors, most routes include hills or uneven paths. Walking along uneven paths is great for cardiovascular health because it forces the heart to work a little harder. Uneven terrain is also great for developing the core muscles. For seniors who don’t want to spend their time doing sit-ups, a lengthy hike can help them develop muscles in the abdominal region. Having a strong core is important for seniors because it boosts balance skills. Seniors become susceptible to falls with age, but having a keen sense of balance can prevent injuries. Seniors who have stability issues can bring walking poles on their next hike to take pressure off the joints and keep them upright.
Assisting a senior loved one with activities such as hiking can be difficult for family caregivers. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Bethlehem, PA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Boosts Brain Health
Seniors who want to stave off cognitive decline should make sure they exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercises like hiking can boost brain function and repair damaged brain cells. It can also enhance critical thinking skills and memory capabilities. To keep the brain healthy, seniors should lace up a pair of hiking boots and go for a walk.
Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
For seniors, maintaining a healthy weight is essential, and hiking can help them achieve this task. Carrying excess weight puts seniors at greater risk for hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions. To maximize a hiking workout, seniors can try trails with hills or uneven terrain, as inclines intensify the heart rate.
Hiking is just one of the many ways seniors can boost their overall health and wellbeing. A Bethlehem elderly caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns. To hire a professionally trained in-home caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at 484-350-3874 today.