As seniors age, they may begin to withdraw from regular exercise and physical activity, which could have a negative impact on their mental, physical, and emotional health. However, hiking is a fun physical activity that can boost their health and quality of life. Here are some of the reasons seniors should take up hiking.
1. Increases Circulation
Poor circulation is an issue many seniors experience due to inactivity, which can lead to foggy and confused thinking, stomach disorders, cold extremities, and more. Hiking immediately gets the heart rate up and increases circulation. Over time, this exercise can strengthen the heart and prevent cardiovascular issues.
Make sure to accompany your loved one to the trail and assist him or her with exercising and hiking. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality non-medical senior care, Dayton Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Strengthens Bones
Osteoporosis is an age-related disease characterized by structural deterioration of bone tissue and low bone mass. Seniors with this disease have frail bones, which increases the odds of fracturing their hip, wrist, or spine. Hiking can strengthen your loved one’s bones, increase bone density, and reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Hiking can help your loved one lose weight and reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes. When going on hikes, your loved one will burn off calories, helping him or her maintain a healthy weight. Hiking can also lower your loved one’s blood sugar levels and strengthen his or her muscles. Your loved one’s insulin will also work better, which could stave off diabetes or allow him or her to manage the disease better. If your loved one experiences after-dinner spikes in blood sugar, hiking is the perfect activity to combat those spikes on a consistent basis.
Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Dayton live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.
4. Boosts Emotional Health
Hiking helps seniors feel positive about life. The great outdoors can stimulate your loved one’s senses, including smell, sight, and hearing, and provide an immediate mood boost. Your loved one’s body will release natural mood enhancers known as endorphins, which fight the stress hormone cortisol and reduce anxiety levels.
5. Reduces Joint Pain
Hiking is a joint-friendly, low-density activity that alleviates arthritis pain and doesn’t twist or stress the joints too much. Your loved one will get the exercise he or she needs to maintain strong muscles. Hiking is fun, and it can strengthen your loved one’s abdominal and back muscles, which may decrease the odds of chronic pain.
If your loved one is unable to go out of the house to engage in light physical activity, he or she can still exercise at home with the help of a professional caregiver. In Dayton, OH, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Whether your loved one needs hourly home care or 24-hour live-in care, call one of our professional Care Managers at (937) 353-1412.