Health Benefits of Walking
Regardless of your age, regular exercise can provide you with a myriad of positive health benefits.
When it comes to seniors, studies show that walking an hour a day can help to maintain good health and mental well-being.
Even if you don't currently walk each day, read on to discover why this simple practice can help keep you healthier, longer.
Better Cardiovascular Health and Disease-Fighting Abilities
Several studies show that walking an hour a day can do wonders for your circulation, and it may even help lower blood pressure. Regular walking can prevent some of the factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Walking daily is an excellent way to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. It's also shown to help reduce the risk of strokes in older women.
Not only does walking help your circulation and heart, but it can also give your immune system a big boost. Walking a few days a week, or an hour per day can keep your immunity strong to help you ward off disease and illness.
Exercise in any form can keep the body's immune system running the way it should. For seniors, walking is an easy way to get in exercise to help prevent chronic illness and even some forms of cancer.
Walking an Hour a Day Strengthens Bones and Joints
From osteoporosis to arthritis, seniors are much more vulnerable to bone-related diseases and chronic pain. Thanks to the low-impact nature of walking, seniors can still get the benefits of a whole-body workout without the threat of injury.
When you walk each day, the muscles, bones, and joints are being worked together in synergy. Over time, these parts of the body get stronger as the joints are lubricated and the muscles get stronger.
Walking strengthens the bones, too, which can help to prevent fractures and other problems that tend to affect seniors. Even walking a few minutes each day or several times a week can stave off the effects of arthritis.
The cartilage around most of your bones don't get blood supplied directly to them, but they require nutrition from fluids to keep them healthy. When you walk, the movement and compression pushes down on the cartilage and brings nutrients and oxygen to this important part of the body.
Walking Improves Mental Sharpness
As we age, memory and mental sharpness begin to decline. People who walk on a regular basis can stave off the effects of dementia and memory loss.
Some studies have shown that seniors who walk daily have a much lower risk of Alzheimer's. The more you walk, the better your mental sharpness should be.
In addition to preventing these age-related maladies, walking daily can also improve mental health. Getting fresh air and sunshine along with exercise can boost your mood and keep you in a positive state of mind.
When you exercise, the body produces endorphins that lead to positive, happy thoughts. Walking with a friend or partner can also increase feelings of bonding.
Better Sleep Through Walking
Insomnia and sleepless nights can have a profoundly negative effect on physical and mental health. When you get a good night's sleep, your body and mind stay strong and it also improves your mood.
Walking an hour a day can help you sleep better at night. Through regular exercise, you should start to notice that you're sleeping better and for longer periods of time.
When you get plenty of sleep, the ripple effects are profound. Solid sleep can keep you feeling your best and improve your mood, which can also improve your relationships with others.
Not only does walking make you feel physically stronger, but it also helps you get the rest you need. Try to avoid walking at the end of the day, however, as it takes some time for your muscles to relax again and prepare yourself for bedtime.
Seniors are vulnerable to dizzy spells, and the ability to stay balanced decreases as people get older. With regular walking, you can reduce the chances of falling thanks to stronger leg muscles and improved balance.
Even if you choose to walk in a shopping mall or somewhere indoors, this simple exercise will help you stay upright and keep your core muscles strong. Seniors can suffer falls at home that may result in serious injury. Try to walk as often as possible to help prevent slips and falls.
Make sure you choose a high-quality walking shoe that provides you with support and flexibility. Not only will an excellent pair of shoes keep you comfortable, but they can also give you the additional support you need.
If you have diabetes, plantar fasciitis, or arthritis, make sure you choose walking shoes that are specially made for these conditions. With the right schedule and dedication, walking an hour day will keep you safe and healthy.
Walk for Your Health
From better sleep to healthier joints and bones, walking an hour a day can do wonders for seniors. Try to find a partner to walk with you so you enjoy some companionship during your walks.
If you can't walk an hour each day, try to walk for at least 20 minutes every day for a few days per week. As your strength improves, you can start to walk more often and for longer periods of time.