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5 Reasons Older Adults Should Take Up Hiking

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There are many ways seniors get physical exercise. Some enjoy traditional workout routines and others prefer engaging in activities. Hiking is one activity many seniors enjoy, and it also offers a wealth of benefits. Here are a few reasons older adults should take up hiking. 

1. Allows for Flexible Exercise at Convenient Times

Going to a gym for workouts requires attending the session at a particular time and following the regimen provided for a designated length of time. However, seniors have the option of hiking when and where they desire. The length of the journey and the intensity of the hike is also up to the individual. The hike can be as easy or as difficult as desired because there is no fitness coach pushing to increase the intensity.

If your senior loved one needs help maintaining a regular exercise routine, a professional caregiver can help. Palm Desert senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

2. Tones the Body

Walking is known to tone the buttocks and legs. However, choosing locations with inclines or obstacles that must be climbed over provides a better workout. Hiking also does not stress weight-bearing joints, unlike other types of exercise. Carrying a pack containing snacks, fluids, navigational equipment, and perhaps a camera creates more of a challenge. Seniors are then more likely to use their arms and upper body during the workout. Hiking can also help seniors maintain a healthy weight, as one hour of trekking causes the body to burn more than 500 calories. 

A professional caregiver can assist your loved one with physical activity and provide transportation to hiking trails. In Palm Desert, CA, 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.

3. Provides Cardiovascular Benefits

Hiking gets the blood pumping faster throughout the body, which provides much-needed oxygen and nutrients to all cells, tissues, and organs. Engaging in hiking on a regular basis can lower blood pressure by 4 to 10 points while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. While hiking uphill offers many health benefits, studies indicate that venturing downhill enhances the body’s glucose tolerance, which reduces blood sugar levels. Hiking also increases antioxidant levels, which are necessary for fighting off various diseases, including cancer. 

4. Stabilizes Mood

A group of researchers published an article in an issue of Environmental Science & Technology explaining the benefits of outdoor exercise. The scientists found seniors who engaged in hiking and similar activities felt revitalized and had a positive outlook on life. Hiking enables seniors to enjoy nature while setting aside issues that cause negativity. It stimulates adrenaline and endorphin release, which naturally enhances mood, increases energy levels, and reduces anger and depression. 

5. Boosts Cognition

A study performed by scientists from the University of London demonstrated individuals who spend time outdoors can increase their attention span and creative problem-solving skills by up to 50 percent. Along with getting physical exercise, hiking stimulates the brain when paying attention to the details of surroundings and responding to the sights and sounds of nature. Brain function is needed to navigate around or over obstacles, determine which trails to take, and decide where and when to stop along the way.

If your loved one needs encouragement to hike more often or socialize on a regular basis, a professional caregiver can help. For many seniors in Palm Desert, CA, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. To hire a dedicated and professional caregiver for your elderly loved one, call us at (760) 345-0001 today.