As part of National Walking Month, which takes place from Tuesday, May 1 until Thursday, May 31, we’re offering our expert advice on the benefits of walking for the elderly.
Exercise is extremely important, especially within the elderly, and we find with our service users that they really enjoy a simple walk. According to the British Heart Foundation, more than one in seven men and one in 10 women die from coronary heart disease in the UK, however those who are more physically active are at a lower risk, which is why we actively encourage all of our service users to exercise.
Walking can help strengthen an elderly person’s bones and help prevent the onset of osteoporosis, which makes the bones more brittle and likely to break.
It can also help keep the heart strong by increasing the heart rate. It can improve a person’s mood and mental well-being if they can get up, get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air. It can even help with depression and help reduce stress too.
We’re keen on tackling social isolation within the elderly and have found with our service users that walking is a great way for them to socialise as they can meet lots of different people out and about on their walks. Alternatively, walking with a carer or friends is another great way to socialise.
Living Streets is the UK charity for every day walking. It wants to create a walking nation, free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illness and social isolation and making walking the natural choice. It believes that a walking nation means progress for everyone.
Its ambition is to get people of all generations to enjoy the benefits that this simple act brings and to ensure all streets are fit for walking.
We always encourage our service users to walk when they can and we can even arrange for our carers to assist them if they need it, but we want the whole of Wales to get outside and get walking and to make them aware of the huge benefits.
We’ll also be taking part in the #WalkThisMay hashtag on social media and encouraging others to get active.