Never underestimate the power of walking. A simple stroll is a great way to improve your overall health (especially if you would have been sitting on the couch otherwise!). Plus, it’s cheap, it doesn’t require special skills, and it can be completed just about anywhere. Walking is especially beneficial to seniors because it’s a low-impact exercise that improves mobility, independence, and quality of life. You can start slowly, ambling along, and then amp up your speed and the frequency of your exercises. If you aren’t convinced, scroll down to read about the many benefits of walking for seniors.
Benefits of Walking for Seniors
1. Walking regularly can improve your quality of life.
Walking increases your aerobic capacity, which means you will be better able to perform daily tasks like household chores and running errands. You will also be more mobile and independent, so you won’t have to rely on others so often. Because of these reasons and more, walking regularly can give you a more positive outlook on your life and your future.
2. Walking can improve your physical health.
No one can deny that walking benefits the body. Walking regularly reduces the likelihood that you will become disabled. It also relieves insomnia, helping people sleep more soundly, and it can alleviate lower back pain. Additionally, it strengthens your muscles, improves your sense of balance, reduces your blood pressure, and decreases your risk of developing a number of afflictions including heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. And of course, it can help you lose weight.
3. Walking can improve your mental health.
Walking benefits your mind as well as your body. It can lighten your mood due to painkilling endorphins, which are released during exercise. It also lowers stress and reduces anxiety. People who suffer from depression find that walking can lift their spirits as well.
How to Start Walking Regularly
Go slow. As we mentioned before, if you aren’t already walking on a regular basis, start slow. Just 10 minutes a day at the start is fine, and then you can gradually build up to 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or even an hour.
Dress appropriately. When you walk, wear comfortable clothing including shoes that are supportive and have good traction.
Choose a safe spot. Be sure that you’re walking in a safe area, perhaps around your neighborhood or in a park, and consider bringing along a friend or a pet for company. Stick to flat surfaces if you’re a beginner and remember to watch the sidewalk or path for dangerous obstructions.
Listen to your body. Just about anyone can walk as a part of a healthy lifestyle, making it a great choice for seniors who can no longer completely the vigorous exercises of their youth. However, it’s important to know your body’s limits and listen to what it tells you. If you have any bodily difficulties as you begin a walking regimen, meet with your doctor.
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One of the great things about living in a retirement community is that a healthy lifestyle is very accessible. Residents can join exercise classes, stroll around the facility, attend group outings, and even get exercise tips for seniors from the medical staff on site. Each of the eight Hearthside Senior Living Place retirement facilities has a Health and Wellness program headed by a nurse. To learn more about the program and our commitment to healthy senior living, contact Hearthside Senior Living Place today.