Walking is one of those things we tend to take for granted when we're younger. However, as we get older, walking can become more of a chore than it used to be. Just because getting from A to B on your feet might make you sweat a little harder, or ache a little more, than it used to, though, that's no reason to quit. Because like so much else in life, walking is one of those things where you either use it, or lose it. And if a senior commits to getting their steps in every day, there are a lot of benefits that come along with that regimen. Here are 4 Healthy Benefits of Walking For Seniors.
4 Benefits of Walking For Seniors
#1: Walking Keeps You Fit
The most obvious benefit of regular walking is that it's good exercise, and it keeps seniors in shape. According to Web MD, a study showed that seniors who regularly walked over the course of four months (as opposed to the control group which attended a nutrition class) increased their physical function by 25 percent. Not only that, but they decreased their disability risk by 41 percent. In the control group physical function declined, showing that walking is worlds better than sitting in class and learning about your health.
#2: It's Good For Your Heart
As we get older, we worry more about things like heart disease, high cholesterol, and other problems with bodily systems we used to take for granted. In addition to keeping your muscles fit, walking also gets your blood flowing. This strengthens your heart, and it benefits the rest of the body as well according to Seniors Live It Up. Regular walks can reduce the risk of heart disease, and they will also increase your wind, allowing you to do more before you get out of breath (another problem many seniors find themselves dealing with, wondering when things became so tough for them, physically).
#3: Walking Stimulates Mood and Mind, As Well As Body
In addition to being good for your body, walking can also have benefits for your psychology and mood. Exercise tends to release endorphins, which can improve your mood. A walk can also be soothing if it's part of your regular routine, giving you time to get lost in a simple activity, and put your mind in order step by step.
While walking has benefits if you do it alone, it has more benefits if it's a social activity. If you walk with a friend, then you can get your cardio while engaging in discussion about whatever topic takes your fancy. Also, you're less likely to skip your walk if you have a buddy, which is another reason to make it at least a paired activity.
#4: Walking Costs Nothing But Time
The human body was made for walking, and it was our primary mode of transportation for thousands of years before we tamed horses, and invented motorized carriages. Though we know more about our bodies than ever before, and we've come up with hundreds (if not thousands) of different exercise routines and regimens over the years, walking is something that doesn't cost us anything but time, and energy. There's no need to get a gym membership, and you don't need any fancy equipment or special workout materials. Just a pair of shoes, and suitable clothes for the weather. Whether you go to the mall or the park, hiking or strolling, it's entirely up to you.
These are just a few of the benefits that come with incorporating a regular walking routine into your life as you head into your golden years.