Date: October 23, 2020

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

You’ve heard that your parents should aim for half an hour of exercise a day. Walking seems to be the form of exercise that their doctors recommend the most. Why is walking so good for older adults?

Walking Lets the Mind Wander

One of the benefits of walking is that while you’re doing it, your mind can wander. This helps with mental health. A Sanford University study found that people who walk tend to use that time to think creatively. It can help your parents come up with solutions to problems or stressors they face.

It Gets You Into Nature

Walking is a good way to get out and enjoy nature. A walk along an easy nature trail, mountain path, or park system provides exercise but also increases happiness for some. If your parents find joy in spotting and identifying birds, a walk gives them the chance to do that.

Walking on a beach eases stress as there are the sounds of the waves to create a soothing atmosphere. A walking path along a river also provides an environment where bubbling water helps ease stress.

You Can Walk Anywhere

Walking doesn’t require special equipment or a specific environment. Your parents could walk up and down their hallway for exercise. They can walk around their yard. A few laps around their neighborhood may work. A treadmill may be better for them.

Plus, you don’t need much to go for a walk. A comfortable pair of walking shoes and a jacket that matches the weather is all your parents need to be ready to take a walk.

It’s Easier on the Feet

Each step you make puts pressure on the feet. The amount of pressure depends on your weight and the way you step. Running is more demanding. While it does help you burn calories faster, it’s also harder on the body. The wrong running shoes can lead to strain, blisters, and other leading causes of foot pain.

Walking still puts pressure on the feet, but the feet may not hit the pavement with the same force as running does. It’s a low-impact form of exercise. This is why walking is often a preferred exercise for older adults. What’s important is that your parents walk at a moderate pace if they’re able.

To get 30 minutes of exercise each day, your parents may feel better if they’re not alone. Schedule elderly care services with a local agency. Caregivers can stop by each day, join your parents for a walk, and make sure they’re not feeling lonely or isolated. Call an elderly care agency to talk about companionship services.


Date: October 23, 2020