For family caregivers looking for a way to get active and squeeze in some exercise that they can do together with their elderly loved one, walking is an excellent choice. It is low-impact, requires virtually no equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere. Unfortunately, cold and snowy winter weather can often put a damper on elderly adults’ and their caregivers’ walking routine. However, they do have one great option when it comes to staying active in the winter – mall walking! Walking at the local mall can be done in any kind of weather and it is healthy and fun. Here are a few tips for elderly adults and their caregivers for beginning a mall walking routine.
Time it Right
If you are going to the mall for fitness, it is best to arrive before crowds of shoppers do. The best time to go is usually early in the morning on weekdays. When you go at the right time, you will have space to move and you won’t have to dodge groups of people, strollers, and children. Many malls will open an hour earlier than the stores do specifically for mall walkers, check with your local mall to see if they have this policy in effect.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
In the winter, elderly adults and their caregivers may find themselves living in their snow boots. However, when walking the mall, boots are usually not the best choice. Wear supportive walking shoes with moisture-wicking socks that are comfortable to wear. On snowy days, wear your boots to the mall and then change into your walking shoes once you arrive. Wearing wet shoes on slick mall floors can increase the risk of falls!
Take the Stairs
If your mall has more than one story, make climbing the stairs part of your walking routine. Stair climbing is an excellent cardio workout that will add some challenge to your walk.
Add Extra Exercises
For a complete, full-body workout, try to incorporate some strength exercises that you can do in a chair and do them on the mall benches. Another way to add some strength training is by carrying lightweight hand weights. With hand weights, you can do curls and presses while you walk and save time. By incorporating both cardio and strength, you will find that you can get a fitness center-quality workout right at the mall – no membership fee required!
For all of your elder care needs in Cherry Hill, NJ and the surrounding areas call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.