SavvierSenior.com is reader supported. I may earn a small share of sales from some of the links on this page, at no extra cost to you. Learn More.

How to Improve Walking in Elderly?

To improve walking you should exercise, maintain a healthy weight, work on your balance, maybe you will find walking aids useful. You will realize that you can do a lot by yourself in order to improve walking. How fast should you walk and how much should a senior walk? If you have difficulty walking you should check below.

Interventions to Improve Walking in Older Adults:

Discuss with a Doctor

Before we start any new exercise, we should always discuss our plans with our doctor. The heart needs to become accustomed to exercise gradually, and it needs to be healthy before it can cope with the added exertion.

Exercise

You will find that if you exercise regularly, you’ll be able to walk much easier as your strength increases. Start simple and slowly build up as your body gets used to the exertion. Remember, exercise isn’t just about building up stamina by ‘brute force’. It’s also about learning easy ways to attempt certain movements by using less energy.

Walking is one of the best types of exercise and even better, it’s free to do. Don’t forget you don’t have to go for long walks to get fit. Try some gentle gardening, some housework, walk the grandkids to school or walk to the shops every day. The choice is yours.

Build Muscle strength

Before you can build muscle strength, you need to eat the nutrients needed for muscle growth. Eat a balanced diet with low-fat protein such as fish, skinless poultry and beans. Before you start walking outdoors, try doing some basic exercises in the comfort of your home.

Walk up and down stairs, jog on the spot and stretch your leg muscles. Once you are out and about, and if you exercise regularly you’ll find that your muscles soon become stronger than they were previously.

Work on Your Balance

You’ll find that to enjoy walking you’ll need to improve your balance. In the comfort and safety of your home, try standing on one leg for a couple of minutes, then stand on the other one.

If you find that difficult, you can hold onto a chair or kitchen counter for support. Once you’re walking outside, use a cane or a walker to help with your balance until you’re more confident.

Maintain a Healthy weight

If you’re overweight, you will find it difficult to walk easily. Not only will you have to breathe harder, but your heart will work harder and your legs will tire quicker. Eat a balanced and healthy diet and try to lose some of those pounds.

Walk with a Friend

Walking should be a fun activity that you look forward to every day. Walk with a friend so you can chat while you’re exercising, but don’t walk faster than you can comfortably talk. When you’re a more experienced walker you can join a club and have guided walks.

Use Assistive walking Devices

There are many devices available for people who need assistance when walking. Speak to your doctor or a physiotherapist to get the best advice as to which one you should use in your situation.

The simplest device is a walking cane. You can use a cane for help with balance issues, assisting the legs with walking or as a simple support. This is held in either hand depending on which is most comfortable, or you might find it better to use two canes at the same time.

Many people don’t realize that it is vital to have the cane cut to the correct length for your height. Once again, a physiotherapist will know the best length for your build.

Moving on from walking canes, we have walking frames. These can have four legs which the user lifts and places onto the ground before taking a few steps, or can have wheels which the user just pushes along in front of them. Wheeled walkers have brake levers similar to a bicycle to prevent the frame from running away. Most walkers also come with a small seat pad, so the user can rest when necessary.

What causes Difficulty walking for the Elderly?

As we become older, certain changes take place within our body that makes it more difficult for us to walk.

Probably the most common is ‘poor posture’. Age-related changes in bone density and joint mobility may cause problems with the curvature of the spine and how we hold ourselves upright. As we get older, so we have more of a stooped posture.

Our hips and legs become weaker as we age. Our bones start to lose calcium reducing our bone density and we lose muscle mass. Our muscles shrink and if we aren’t careful are replaced by fatty and fibrous tissue.

We become less flexible with age. Our tendons and muscles lose the ability to stretch when we move. While we’re talking about stretching. Simple exercises to stretch our muscles will result in less pain from arthritis, fewer back problems, good posture, and better blood flow.

RELATED: Tips on how to climb stairs

Why is Walking Important for the Elderly?

Walking is a really great exercise for seniors to do. If you’re an elderly person reading this, then you’ll know as well as I do that walking is sometimes all the exercise you can manage to do.

It’s gentle on the leg and foot joints and we can walk at our own speed, taking in the sights and sounds around us. At our time of life, there isn’t any need to rush around. We’ve seen and done most things and realize we have to live for the present, not worry about getting to our destination 10 minutes sooner than if we’d walked.

Walking helps us to strengthen our muscles and prevent weight gain. It’s good for helping to prevent all kinds of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It will improve our sense of balance and maybe most importantly reduces the likelihood of us falling and injuring ourselves.

How much Should a senior walk?

This is a question along the same lines as ‘how long is a piece of string?’

We can say that the recommended duration of a typical daily walk should be about thirty minutes, but if you haven’t been exercising for very long or if you have mobility problems, then start at five minutes and slowly work your way up.

To be honest, if you can’t manage thirty minutes then do as much as you can. The important thing is to get started as any exercise is better than none.

How fast should I walk and What’s next?

The answer to this one is to walk as fast as you can. The ideal speed is about 100 steps ( check step counters ) per minute as this will make your heart work a bit harder than usual and get the blood flowing around your system.

However, if you can’t manage this speed, don’t despair! Just walk as fast as you can while enjoying the experience. But, if you can manage to maintain the continual pounding on knee joints than you should check running. If you still have a good balance then try cycling.

What’s next?

I hope you find this post helpful. In case have problems with standing up you should check this article about stand up from sitting position. You may want to read on how to get up from the toilet easily. But if you have

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *