As we age, certain types of exercises we were once able to do become too difficult. We can’t move the same way, we may have suffered an injury, or we may be worried about getting injured.
Walking is something we can and should do. There are plenty of benefits to walking every day, even if it is just to the store, a trip through the park, or around the block with the dog.
Walking Benefits for Older Adults
If you are not used to walking very much, ease into it. Get yourself a good pair of shoes that help to support your arches, ankles, and hold your feet securely. Choose an easy route, to begin with.
Make sure you have someone with you or some type of walking aid, like a cane, if needed. If you are not accustomed to walking very far, start slowly and take someone with you to help you.
Even at a steady pace walking can help to control your weight. Getting out in the fresh air every day aids in digestion and works your legs and core muscles. Go out after meals to help burn calories.
When you know you are going to be taking a walk, you may be tempted to eat less, to avoid feeling over-full and sluggish. Walking before your meals can also help you eat less.
Fresh air and sunshine can make a big difference in someone’s disposition. There are endorphins released when we exercise that act as natural mood boosters.
Get out and enjoy a park, a long walk along a river or lake nearby, or check out some of the well-groomed yards in your neighborhood, local Christmas decorations, and activities going on close to your home.
Taking a walk every day can help to increase your heart rate and that helps to fight heart disease, high blood pressure, and stress. All of these things can be very dangerous for older adults.
Get your heart rate up, sweat a little, and enjoy the view. You don’t need to strain yourself but try to include a few inclines to make your body and your heart work a little harder.
Keeps You Stronger
Your muscles need to work in order to function properly. As people age, they often decrease the amount of physical activity they take. Your muscles will start to get loose and soft, preventing you from doing even the simplest of tasks.
When you walk regularly, you keep yourself stronger and this can help prevent falls and other common injuries. You will notice that your endurance level will increase as you continue to walk farther each week.
Walking with a friend can help keep you on a regular schedule and you are less likely to stop walking. Joining a walking group is a great way to meet people your age and of similar interests.
If you walk every day in certain areas, like a park, you will start to meet other people who also take exercise there. If you are walking with a dog, then hit the dog park and you will soon have plenty of walking partners.
Lack of regular exercise can cause pain in your joints, and muscles, and make it more difficult to walk even around your home. But walking is low-impact and can help reduce the pain just by getting out for a walk every day.
You will notice that you have less joint pain in your knees and hips with regular activity. Walking costs nothing to do and you get fresh air, a chance to meet your neighbors, and it is good for you, as well.
Walk Your Way to Happiness
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one going out for walks on their own, consider a medical alert system. With mobile options available, this allows you the freedom to live your life with peace of mind knowing you have 24/7 help at the press of a button.
Daily walking is a simple yet effective way for older adults to maintain physical and mental well-being, strengthen their bodies, and enjoy social interactions. It’s a low-impact, cost-free activity that can enhance your quality of life as you age gracefully.