Walking made the news recently in May. The results from a Yale School of Medicine study reported that older adults who get regular 20 minute walks are less likely to lose their mobility as they age. Even for the very elderly, getting out to walk at least a quarter of a mile a day, helps reduce the risk of getting housebound. It’s sad to think those who can’t walk are categorized as permanently disabled.
Functional independence is the ability to perform daily living activities safely and autonomously. Activities of daily living are “the things we normally do…such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, shopping, homemaking, and leisure.” A daily 20 minute walk can help retain functional independence for someone who wants to continue to have the ability to live on their own.
If you have a relative or neighbor who borders on being housebound, why not give them a call and get them out for a stroll? Most people like to be outdoors in the summer. It’s the perfect weather and opportunity to make a plan to get out for a walk and talk.
Just think…you are helping another person get some exercise so that they can maintain their independence, while you are getting some of the benefits yourself. What a way to pay it forward!