Walking is one of the most senior-friendly forms of exercise there is. Not only is it a low-impact type of exercise that's ideal for nearly any fitness level, but it also helps you avoid a sedentary lifestyle and can be done regardless of where you are. If you have decided to add a fitness regimen to your daily routine, consider the following benefits of walking.
Walking gets the blood flowing and strengthens the heart, which can result in lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of stroke. According to a study at the University of Colorado at Boulder, women who walked approximately two hours a day lowered their blood pressure by as much as 11 points in just six months.
With each step you take, you tone your leg muscles and your core abdominal muscles. This increases your range of motion and makes it easier for your legs to carry your weight. As a result, you may experience less pain in your joints, which can reduce arthritis pain and flareups.
Studies have shown that seniors who walk regularly have a 35% lower chance at early mortality than their non-walking counterparts. This number increases as much as 45 percent for individuals with a chronic illness.
Walking is an excellent way to burn calories, which may make it easier for seniors to lose weight. Just a brisk 30-minute walk can burn up to 200 calories and provides a boost in your metabolism, so you'll burn calories more efficiently throughout the day.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, moderate exercise helps improve the sleep of individuals with chronic insomnia. Those who continued to walk or exercise for more than 24 weeks fell asleep quicker and slept slightly longer than those who did not.
Walking increases your breathing rate, which can strengthen both the heart and the lungs. As oxygen begins to travel through the bloodstream faster, it helps to reduce the number of waste products throughout the body. This helps improve your energy levels and can make it much easier to breathe.
According to an article in the New York Times, seniors who walked regularly reduced their chances at Alzheimer's and other cognitive impairments. Some studies indicate that lowering blood pressure, which occurs naturally after exercise, may lessen the symptoms of the disease.
Being outside and walking regularly has been known to significantly improve your mood and lessen the effects of anxiety and depression. This is because walking releases endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers.
At Autumn View Gardens in Creve Coeur, MO, our beautifully manicured lawns provide an excellent place to walk and enjoy nature. Contact us for more information on our assisted living community.