Walking is one of the most effective exercises for older adults because it has an excellent benefit-to-risk ratio. Walking is ultra-low-impact on the joints, meaning that seniors won’t be sore after doing it. It’s also a very low-exertion exercise as it safely elevates one’s heart rate without raising it to dangerous levels. Most importantly, the simple act of walking strengthens muscles, improves balance, and helps control weight gain all while reducing one’s risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
But, the key to any successful exercise is to do it safely. That’s why at Davis Community’s rehabilitation in Wilmington NC, we share the following seven safe walking tips with all of our residents.
#1: Notify Your Doctor if You Have Pain Walking
If walking causes you physical pain, then there may be an underlying problem that needs to be resolved before you can enjoy a stroll with your friends so you will want to consult with your doctor. It is important to understand the difference between mild discomfort and pain, however. If you haven’t exercised in a while, then walking could cause you some mild discomfort, but this will usually pass quickly once you start walking more regularly.
#2: Involve Your Health Care Provider in the Creation of Your Walking Program
If you haven’t exercised in a while, then it is recommended to start off slowly and gradually increase your distance and pace. Involving your health care provider in the creation of your walking program will help you determine a safe starting point. Remember, even if you start by walking one block a day, you will start noticing the benefits of walking and in time, you will be able to extend your distance.
#3: Wear a Good Pair of Walking Shoes
Wearing the right type of walking shoes is essential to avoiding fatigue and painful problems like “shin splints.” Ask your doctor what kind of shoes you should be wearing. At the minimum, they should be properly fitted, comfortable, and provide good arch support.
#4: Walk With a Friend
When you walk with a friend, your daily exercise isn’t like exercise at all. You can catch up on all of the latest happenings in each other’s lives while you walk, so your concentration will be on your friend instead of your walk, and this may allow you to find it easier to walk longer distances.
#5: Take a Cane or Walker If Needed
If you can’t walk without the use of a cane or a walker, don’t let that stop you from getting the exercise you need – just take your cane or walker with you. Even walking with these items, you will still gain the health benefits of walking and in time, you may even gain the strength you need to leave them at home.
#6: Don’t Overexert Yourself
In order for you to get the most health benefits out of your walk, you have to walk at a safe pace. Walk only as fast as your comfort level allows.
#7: Carry a Cell Phone
Whether you walk with a friend or alone, you should always bring along your cell phone so you can call someone should you need assistance. Have your point of contact programmed into your phone’s speed dial so you can call them quickly and with the least amount of effort possible.
Rehabilitation in Wilmington NC at the Davis Community
The Joseph B. and Elsa Flower Davies Wellness Center and Rehabilitation Pavilion at the Davis Community lead the way for senior rehabilitation in Wilmington NC. Our 25,000 square-foot Rehabilitation and Wellness Pavilion offers state-of-the-art and holistic approaches to promoting senior health and wellness. From our aquatic and walking-based exercises to our acupuncture services and monthly wellness seminars, Davis Community is focused on helping our residents obtain and maintain optimum health throughout the duration of their stay. For more information about our retirement community, nursing homes, skilled nursing services, or our rehabilitation pavilion, just give us a call today at 910-566-1200.