Autumn may just be the best time of year to get out and start a regular walking routine. Now that the weather has begun to cool off, and the trees are starting to show off their brilliant fall colors; there’s no better time to connect with nature-while getting a great low impact workout.
Walking is a relatively simple and low cost exercise program for older adults, and the perfect activity for Alzheimer’s caregivers to engage in with their love one with AD. All you really need is a good pair of shoes-and your physician’s approval of course.
Here are 8 tips from Harvard Health to challenge pitfalls and keep your walking routine going:
1.When there is inclement weather, have a backup plan (like walking at the local mall).
2.If social plans suddenly interfere with your regular walking schedule, try to squeeze in a short walk, even if it’s not your usual walking route or time of day.
3.Keep your walking shoes with you at all times, so that you can grab an opportunity to walk when you have unexpected extra time.
4.Schedule your daily walks in advance at a regular time each day, but don’t become rigidly attached to a set schedule. The key to keeping the momentum going is to have some flexibility.
5.Get a walking companion. This could be a neighbor, friend, spouse, or even a 4-legged friend.
6.If you don’t have a dog, offer to walk your neighbor’s dog or consider asking a local shelter if they need volunteer dog walkers. Having a purpose and accountability will help to keep you on track.
7.Listen to your favorite music or audible books. Getting into a good story on tape or listening to some familiar tunes will keep your walking time from becoming mundane.
8.Switch your walking route as often as possible, and or reverse the direction of your route. This will keep the walk interesting while providing maximum stimulation to the brain.
Consider learning how to do walking meditation. Meditation is known to lower stress. The combination of physical exercise and meditation is a great way to improve physical and mental health at the same time.
Learn more about the effects of mental and physical activities on Alzheimer’s disease by CLICKING HERE to join our FREE 25 lesson course for caregivers.