Exercising is important for everyone, at any age. As we age, it becomes even more essential to keep the body moving. Even if your days of running marathons, playing sports, or lifting heavy weights at the gym are behind you, you can still get the exercise your body needs to stay healthy and feel good. Taking a daily walk is easy, it costs nothing, and, for seniors, it is one of the most effective ways to keep moving. If you choose to walk outside or with a loved one or a good friend, it becomes even more beneficial.
Benefits of Walking:
- Cardiovascular Health – Walking has shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. Walking, consistently and regularly, improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. Studies have also suggested that walking several miles a day decreases the chance of stroke in women as they get older.
- Strong Muscles – Exercise keeps the muscles engaging in a variety of motions, keeping them strong and flexible. When our muscles are healthy, they can support the rest of the body better.
- Healthy Joints – Walking also keeps our joints moving fluidly by lubricating the joints, which keeps the joints healthy and functioning the way they should.
- Strong Bones – When we walk, we engage our whole body in movement resulting in benefits to not just the muscles and joints, but also the bones. Studies have shown that walking regularly may reduce the loss of bone mass in people with osteoporosis. Walking often has also been shown to decrease the risk of hip fractures and help with arthritis symptoms.
- Better Moods – Moving the body can have a powerful effect on your mental health. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins that make us feel happier.
These are just a few of the many benefits of taking regular walks. Other benefits might include improved sleep, weight management, a stronger immune system, and if you walk with others, better social connections.
If you are ready to get started, remember to start small. If you or your loved one does not already have a regular walking routine, start with a walk down the block and back. Slowly increase the distance as you or your loved one are ready and able. If you are walking outdoors, check the weather before you go so you can dress appropriately, wear sun protection when necessary, and make sure you or your loved one stay hydrated.
For more ideas on how you or your senior loved one can stay healthy longer, check out how Freedom Home Care can support you. Our staff is trained and certified an can help answer any questions relating to the health of your loved ones. We try to provide the best care possible to each client we have, if you are interesting in senior care near you be sure to check out Freedom Home Care and all of our available services!