Reasons Why Seniors Should Walk
By Donna Stark
Finding the right form and the correct amount of exercise for older adults can oftentimes be confusing, yet the one that experts recommend the most is fortunately the one that most of us have mastered by the age of 2 ... walking. And although the act of walking can benefit people of every age, it is especially beneficial to those who are entering, or are already in, their golden years. Because, in addition to improving their overall health and wellness, adding at least 30 minutes of walking into their daily fitness routine is extremely beneficial to their mental health as well! So whether it's you that needs a little push to head outdoors or a loved one, it's time to get moving!
Walking for Seniors
Walking could very well be one of the best forms of physical activity for older adults and the benefits of doing so cannot be denied. Let's take a look at several of them here.
- It improves heart health - Walking is a natural way to lower the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and coronary heart disease. Fortunately, you don't need to walk for hours at a time to receive these benefits, but you should maintain a brisk pace.
- It aids in weight loss - We've all seen it happen. As people age, their lives often become more sedentary, and the pounds start to accumulate. Walking is an easy and safe way to shed those excess pounds, and although it may not result in immediate changes, it is a type of exercise that many tend to stick with.
- It helps prevent muscle loss - If you have ever been injured and experienced limited mobility, you know what muscle atrophy is. Walking can help reduce the risk of weakness, pain, and loss of strength which in many cases, also reduces the risk of serious disability.
- It reduces pain - Studies have shown that walking can help reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis and low back pain. It does so by lubricating the joints and strengthening muscles in the surrounding areas. Walking can also strengthen bones, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis as well.
- It supports mental health - Exercising in general releases the body's "feel-good" chemicals and walking is no exception. This, coupled with the social aspect that comes with walking, can help decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Take a Walk
The evidence is clear. Walking is a great way to improve one's overall health and wellness, but it is particularly beneficial to older adults. So, if you are looking for a senior-friendly form of exercise, grab those shoes and take a walk!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Citrus Heights, Calif.