A stroll. A trek. A saunter. A ramble. A promenade. A chance to stretch your legs. Whatever you prefer to call it, walking is more than a simple way to move from here to there. Especially if you walk at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes, walking is an excellent way to improve your health and lift your mood. If you’ve never considered walking to be exercise, scroll down to learn more about the health benefits of walking for seniors.
Benefits of Walking for Seniors
Strengthen Your Bones and Muscles
Walking briskly is a great way to build lower-body strength and increase bone density. This is especially important for seniors, as muscle mass and bone mass naturally decline with age.
Reduce Your Risk of Several Health Conditions
Your body performs at its best when it’s moving frequently. Regular exercise such as walking can produce a variety of health benefits: lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower glucose levels, lower body mass index (BMI), and more. These benefits can reduce your risk of developing several serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. So get moving!
Improve Your Balance
As we age, our sense of balance typically declines. Especially when combined with other concerning medical conditions (vision problems, vitamin D deficiency, etc.) and some medications, poor balance can lead to falls. And when a senior falls down, there is always a risk of serious complications, such as a head injury, a sprain, or even a hip fracture. To improve your balance and prevent falls, create an exercise routine that incorporates aerobic exercise (like walking) as well as strength training.
Boost Your Mood
Ever heard of endorphins? Aerobic exercise, including walking, stimulates the production of neurotransmitters in the brain that may improve your mood, including endorphins. Walking outside is especially beneficial for your mental health, as it’s been shown to reduce stress and help the brain release endorphins (source). So, if the weather cooperates, try to take your daily walk outside in nature.
Maintain Your Independence
When we refer to independence, we’re talking about the ability to perform basic daily activities without help, like eating, bathing, and dressing. Walking without assistance is a crucial factor when assessing a person’s independence, and seniors who are more physically active and exercise on a regular basis are more likely to be able to walk easily and live independently, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Remember that it’s never too late to start living a more active lifestyle. Start slow so that you can build a sustainable exercise routine, and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of walking for seniors.
Are you planning to retire in Greenville, South Carolina? Be sure to check out The Gables on Pelham, a continuing care retirement community that welcomes seniors from all walks of life. We offer flexible and personalized care, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation. You’ll love our cozy accommodations, fun-filled events calendar, and welcoming community atmosphere. To learn more, please schedule a tour or give us a call at 864-286-6600.