October brings with it stunning fall colours, crisp cool air, and beautiful views when out walking. However, as the weather continues to grow colder, alternative options such as indoor walking tracks and mall-walking may become more suitable. Usually done in groups, these walking activities are not only fun but have many added benefits for older adults such as:
1. Warmer climate
In a warmer, climate-controlled setting with heating and air conditioning, the walking experience becomes easier and more relaxed. Throughout the winter, there will be no need to worry about snow, ice or freezing rain that may make getting out for a walk difficult. As long as you can arrive at your track safely, this can be a huge relief to seniors. Also, you can wear clothes that you feel most comfortable in, rather than having to workout in bulky layers.
2. Increased safety and security
Utilizing an indoor track can be safer than walking outdoors. When inside, you don’t have to worry about busy streets lined with hurried people and speeding cars. Crosswalks can be especially overwhelming, even hazardous, for seniors with decreased physical, sensory and cognitive abilities. Indoor options provide a much safer environment with fewer obstacles.
Even better, community resources such as malls, gyms, or community centers have someone around from open to close. Whether that be a security guard, fitness professional, or greeter there is comfort in knowing that you won’t be walking alone. Furthermore, the worry of having to come face-to-face with potential street crime is greatly reduced too. Even retirement residences are starting to offer indoor walking tracks for resident use.
3. Medical response
Like above, having someone around can provide peace of mind in case an emergency happens. If it does, you’ll be seen immediately by fellow walkers or the building’s staff. Help can be called within seconds. For those living with medical concerns or chronic conditions, this could be such an important benefit that you choose to take part in indoor walking activities year-round.
For those living with mobility limitations, don’t think that these conditions mean that you can’t exercise! Walking is just one of the ways you can maintain your health and fitness. Indoor tracks provide a well-maintained, clear path free of nature’s hurdles. Things like broken branches, roots, stones, and other debris can get caught in wheels of mobility devices, but indoors this won’t be a problem. And again, help is close by if ever required.
4. Close amenities
Walking outdoors can be isolated, sometimes without access to amenities in close range. Say you decide to go for a long walk on a trail outside, but end up running out of water or needing a washroom. This situation can be stressful. With indoor locations, these amenities are usually right around the corner. For example, malls always have food and drink selections readily available and a washroom on every level. What’s more, with these conveniences close by, it’s easy to enjoy a coffee or a meal with friends before or after a walk.
5. Social interaction
If you become a regular member of a walking group, it gives you the opportunity to socialize and make fast friends with other members. Through this activity, you already have a shared interest! There are walking groups for all people, depending on their pace and ability – it’s all about finding the right one for you. There should be no pressure to move faster or slower, you should feel comfortable and encouraged by your group. Walking provides a perfect chance to chat and get to know people within the community.
Exercise for seniors
In general, it’s recommended that older adults over the age of 65 get at least ‘2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) every week. That averages out to about 30 minutes on most days of the week. Or you should get 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise (such as jogging) each week. You should also do strength training at least 2 days a week. You can work on balance and flexibility every day,’ according to FamilyDoctor.org. Walking clubs can be an enjoyable part of this routine.
Staying active at Seasons
Seasons refers to October as ‘Walktober.’ Residents and team members participate in a 10-minute walk every Wednesday morning at 10:10 a.m. Residents walk a specific route inside the home for the rest of the month. The person who does the most laps wins this monthly challenge apart of a year-long initiative called ‘Kickin’ It Up! at Seasons’ originated to get our residents moving more.
Seasons offers many activities and programs that revolve around health, wellness, and socialization for active seniors. Book a personal visit to best determine if Seasons is the right fit for you or your loved one. Please consult your doctor for personalized medical advice.