All too often, elderly loved ones aren’t able to participate in traditional exercises as they once did. However, studies show that regular brisk walking can help seniors stay fit and healthy in many ways. Walking is a wonderful way to round out a healthy elderly care exercise program. Besides helping elderly people to manage health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure, walking can boost mental health and improve balance. However, before family caregivers get elderly loved ones out and about, they need to ensure their walking shoes are appropriate.
What is a Walking Shoe?
When it comes to walking for exercise, not just any footwear will do the best job. Seniors especially need to wear shoes that provide maximum support, plenty of cushion, and fit well. Walking shoes, also often branded as running shoes or cross trainers, should be a high quality brand with thick soles and plenty of support. The shoes should be lightweight and flexible to give the feet their full range of motion without dragging them down. Different shoes are made for different foot types, giving seniors a wide range of options.
Walking Shoes for Seniors
While everyone’s personal preference for walking shoes will vary, there are a few common factors that seniors need to have in a good pair of shoes. The ideal walking shoes will cushion the feet overall, especially in the heel. Seniors lose a lot of natural cushioning in the feet with age, so it’s easier for them to experience heel pain as they walk. Seniors that have flat arches, are overweight or high arches can get special inserts designed to support their unique feet.
Walking shoes need to fit properly to be completely effective. When trying the shoes on, seniors should be able to move their toes around without restriction, but not so much that the toes have complete freedom. Their heel should be cushioned snugly without pinching, but also not sliding around the shoe when they walk. Seniors should never wear open-backed shoes for walking. There are plenty of great shoes out there manufactured under different brands, and the best thing to do is help elderly loved ones try them on and see which ones are the best for them.
Tips for Buying Walking Shoes
When it comes to buying walking shoes, it’s a good idea to plan on spending a little more for a brand name at an athletic wear store. The workers there will be able to help elderly loved ones find the right shoe for them and work through any issues they might have, such as fit and function. Buying shoes in a bargain store may mean that the senior is getting inferior shoes that will hurt more than help. Athletic shoe stores will also be able to accurately measure each senior’s feet for the proper size, leaving the guesswork out of things.
Experts recommend trying on shoes at the end of the day rather than early in the morning, because the feet swell up during the day. An afternoon shoe shopping trip will yield more accurate sizing for elderly people. Also, elderly people should look for shoes that reflect their personality, with all kinds of colors, designs and patterns that make them excited and motivated to lace up their walking shoes and get moving.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Lakewood, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.