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April 11, 2018

Walking outdoors at retirement communities offers multiple health benefits

exercise, health, retirement community
The Senior Care Experts at Ecumenical Retirement Community

Days are getting warmer, and after spending months mostly indoors, many seniors can’t wait to go outside and walk in the sunshine. That’s good because health experts recommend walking to improve both mental and physical well-being.

Mental health researchers have linked walking to less anxiety and depression, better memory and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Physically, walking affects the whole body—improved heart, lung and circulatory health are well-known benefits. But other pluses include a lower incidence of diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. Walking can also help with weight control and better sleep quality.

Ease gradually into a new senior living walking program

The health and safety risks of walking for exercise are low, so it’s a great exercise for seniors in average or better health. For those in good physical condition, walking is ideal because they can do it whenever they want, at their preferred speed and either alone or in a group. Seniors should be sure to wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and drink plenty of liquids prior to a vigorous walk.

The National Institute on Aging recommends that seniors build up their endurance gradually. If you are beginning a walking program and have been inactive, start with 10 minutes and gradually increase the time until you reach 30 minutes. Most healthy seniors should be able to exercise at least three days a week for a total of at least 150 minutes per week. You might want to get a step counter to help monitor your progress and set goals. Keep in mind, though, that everyone is different, and seniors who are just beginning to exercise should first talk with a physician about their plans.

Ecumenical Retirement Community hosts walking and other fitness activities

Residents at Ecumenical Retirement Community in Harrisburg, PA can participate in organized walking programs if they want to combine exercise with fellowship among friends and neighbors. They have the pleasure of walking outdoors on paths amid beautiful gardens featuring native Pennsylvania plants. Our Butterfly Patch is an official, registered Butterfly Monarch Waystation.

At Ecumenical, we encourage physical activity by making fitness equipment available and holding daily individual and group fitness programs led by qualified fitness instructors. We encourage seniors to participate in our strength training, balance fitness and movement programs. Among other activities you will find at Ecumenical are horseshoes, Wii bowling, ladder ball, golf putting and gardening.

For seniors with physical limitations, Ecumenical’s team modifies exercises to effective seated positions, such as chair yoga, balance fitness and Conductorcise® (exercise done to music).

The best retirement communities safeguard and support the health of their residents. If you are looking for a retirement home in the Harrisburg, PA area and want to remain as physically active as you can, please contact us to learn more about Ecumenical Retirement Community.

We hope you will visit, so we can introduce you to the variety of services we could offer you or your loved one. We offer senior independent living, personal care (similar to assisted living), dementia care and physical support.  Our range of care levels lets couples with different care requirements to remain together and enables residents to remain at Ecumenical as their health care needs change.

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