Seniors benefit from exercise. They need a type of exercise that is easy on the joints, can be done almost anywhere and is enjoyable both alone and as a group. Walking fits all of these descriptions and it’s one exercise that many seniors have taken up, sometimes in their neighbourhoods, at a local mall or even around their house or apartment building.
Walking has many benefits that make it the perfect exercise as we age:
- You can start right away. Find some comfortable shoes and decide where you want to walk. Starting with your own neighbourhood is always a good choice. Most of us discover things we didn’t know existed, right around the corner.
- It’s great for your heart. It can lower your blood pressure and your cholesterol. It also lowers your risk of stroke, heart attacks and diabetes. Walking every day can slowly increase your stamina and make you stronger.
- Walking is a good way to keep your weight under control. It helps with food cravings and other health problems. It also helps those with anxiety and depression.
- Taking a walk has been linked to a longer lifespan. Spend a half hour each day walking and it may add up to 7 years to your life.
- It’s the perfect whole body workout. It involves almost all of your muscles. While it builds your strength it also keeps you flexible, agile and well balanced. It’s one of the best exercises to help prevent falls as you age.
- There are benefits to your immune system. Those who walk regularly get sick less often and when they do become ill they bounce back quickly.
April 3rd is National Walking Day. The American Heart Association started this day in 2007 to promote walking and its health benefits. Get into some comfortable clothing, grab your water bottle and start walking your way to better health.