Senior Home Care: January is National Shape Up Month and it’s the time of year when many people set goals for themselves for the year ahead.
If your senior loved one wants to shape up this year and has set a goal to be more active this year walking is a great way to achieve that goal. Daily walks of 20-30 minutes can dramatically improve a senior’s health without a lot of strenuous exercises or having to commit to a grueling workout routine. But many seniors struggle to make a daily walk part of their usual routine even though they know it will help them get healthy. Seniors and senior home care providers who want to shape up can make a daily walk a habit by:
Walking At A Set Time Each Day
Most people start out strong with walking as a new habit but lose interest after a few weeks. In order to make walking a normal part of their day seniors should pick a time during the day and walk at that time every single day. Some seniors like going for a walk after dinner with a friend or a home care provider. Other seniors like to get up and start their day with a walk going for a walk before breakfast or during the mid-morning. Whatever time your senior loved one chooses is fine as long as it’s a time that they can stick with.
Walking New Routes
Walking the same path gets boring pretty quickly. Seniors can keep their walks interesting by changing the routes they walk often and by not limiting themselves to walking only in their neighborhoods. A walk around the block is great, but seniors can also walk on local walking and hiking trails. Or join a mall-walking group and walk through shopping centers in the area. Mall walking is a great option for winter walks when it’s too cold or wet to walk outside. Check with the local department of Parks and Recreation to find maps and information on senior-friendly walking trails throughout the local area.
Walking With A Friend
Accountability is important when creating an exercise routine. Seniors who walk with a friend or a senior home care provider are more likely to go for a walk because of the accountability that comes from having a walking partner. Seniors who need a little accountability to keep them walking can also volunteer at a local animal shelter and get their daily walk in by walking some of the dogs who are waiting to be adopted. The dogs will love the walk and the one-on-one attention and your senior loved one will get the mental and physical health benefits of spending time with a dog and getting a walk.
Getting Into Walking Clothes First Thing
Another motivational tool that can help your senior loved one make walking a habit is for your senior loved one to get into their walking clothes first thing in the morning when they get up. They are more likely to go for a walk when they’re already dressed for it.