National Walking Month: Why Get Involved?

This May, we’re celebrating National Walking Month.

The warmer weather and lighter nights make for lovely evening strolls, so what better time to become more active?

Walking is not only good for the environment, limiting the toxic fumes from vehicles, but it can also have some useful benefits to your mind and body too.

Introducing just 30 minutes of walking a day can;

Improve your mood- Regular walking regulates your nervous system so that you experience less anger and hostility. Taking a walking outside will also expose you to natural sunlight, which helps combat the winter blues and the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Many of our clients enjoy outings with our CAREGivers, whether it’s down to the beach or around the shops. The benefits of this has been noted by the family members who have commented on the positive difference in their loved ones. Since going out on regular trips, one of our clients has become more sociable and has built up the confidence to pop out on their own again.

Confidence can be lost when they aren’t very good on their feet, but this doesn’t mean they have to lose out on the other benefits of getting out and seeing different scenery. Our CAREGivers also assist clients using their walking aids or wheelchairs, assisting when and where required. We are there to support the clients retain their independence and carry on living life as they always have, even if that does involve an afternoon down at the pub.

Stimulate Creativity- Taking a walk offers you time out and the space to resolve a problem. This could be a problem at work or even a personal conflict with a loved one.

Our office team find this often helps when it comes to processing our rotas. Taking a little time away from the screen and really help to clear the mind, making the rest of the day much more productive.

Weight loss- Regular activity, such as walking, can help reduce body fat as it improves your response to insulin. Daily walking is also a great way to burn extra calories and increase your metabolism. Walking is a light exercise that has little strain on your body, unlike running that causes increased pressure on your knee joints.

Health benefits- Walking helps to lower your blood sugar levels and your overall risk of getting diabetes. It can also reduce the risk of having a stroke or a cardiovascular disease.

Some family members request that our CAREGivers encourage their loved ones to engage in activities to boost daily movement, helping to keep them strong and healthy. Sitting in one place for a long period of time can cause problems with circulation and muscle weakness.

Regular walking also helps to improve core strength and balance, which can itself aid in preventing potential falls.

For this reason, we help to support older people to live independently, assisting with daily tasks rather than just taking over them.

For example, a family member of a client wanted us to encourage walking with the use of a wheelchair as an aid, using the chair as a backup should they become tired. Although the client was happy to just be pushed around in the wheelchair, our CAREGivers followed the request of the family and encouraged more movement. The client felt great afterwards, having achieved something they didn’t have the confidence to do before.

Being more sociable- Going for walks with a friend or partner, even a colleague at lunchtime will help you stay connected to the people that are important to you, which will also boost your mood. Also, having this company will make the activity more enjoyable, where you may not even realise the amount of exercise that you’re fitting in.

As lone workers, we believe it’s important for our CAREGivers to keep connected to other members of their team, which is why we have area based WhatsApp groups. We also hold regular team meetings and additional training days so that everyone has the chance to meet up together again. The management team are also there to provide support 24/7 via our out of hours number.

Therefore, if you’re looking to become more active, why not try:

  • Sitting less each day- this will help encourage movement
  • Setting yourself a daily target- e.g. 30 mins – be realistic with what you can achieve and slowly build up at your own pace
  • Fitting activity into your day- go for a walk on your lunch break or take the stairs
  • Commuting in a healthy way- walk or ride a bicycle
  • Move your body position every 60 minutes
  • Join an exercise class or group- the extra support will help keep you engaged and is a perfect way to make new friends
  • If you miss a session, try to get back on track as soon as possible. The longer you leave something, the harder it is to get back to it.

At Home Instead, the health and wellbeing of our clients and CAREGivers is very important to us. All clients are encouraged to live their live fully, remaining active members of their community as well as keeping their independence.

From our office in Abergele, Home Instead are really proud to be able to provide personal care and home help for seniors, as well as rewarding careers for their CAREGivers all across North Wales; including Abergele, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Conwy, Denbigh, Holywell, Llandudno, Ruthin, Prestatyn, Llanrwst and everywhere in between!

To find out more about our services or the vacancies we have, please contact the office on 01745 772150.

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