Sep 21, 2017 by Leslie Knopp
Now that it’s fall, many seniors are spending their days outside hiking. Hiking can provide them with countless benefits including improved strength and flexibility and the opportunity to truly enjoy the beauty of nature. If your older loved one likes to hike or would like to try hiking, in-home care providers suggest these hiking tips.
Although seniors don’t have to invest in costly hiking clothing, they should avoid wearing jeans or any other type of clothing that retains moisture. Wearing yoga pants, dressing in layers, and opting for a pair of sturdy tennis shoes is highly recommended by in-home care professionals.
Seniors should understand that hiking isn’t a race. That being said, they should hike at a pace that they feel comfortable with. It’s a good idea for older adults to start walking at a normal pace and check their breathing every few minutes. If they are breathing normally, they can increase their pace a bit. However, if they are breathing heavily, they should take that as a sign to slow down.
Use a Walking Stick or Hiking Poles
Walking sticks or hiking poles are ideal for older adults because they can assist them with balance. In-home care aides note that these walking aids are particularly useful when seniors are hiking uphill or on rocky terrain. Seniors should hold their walking stick or hiking poles so their elbows form a 90 degree angle.
Pack a Lightweight Backpack
Before going on a hike, seniors should pack a small, lightweight backpack and fill it with a light jacket that they can wear if it gets cold, a whistle, a cell-phone, a first aid kit, a pair of thick socks, and a trail map. This backpack will ensure they are prepared in the event of an emergency or uncomfortable situation.
By dressing appropriately, going at their own pace, using a walking stick or hiking pole, and packing a small, lightweight backpack, older adults in Traverse City, MI can thoroughly enjoy each hike they go on.