As we age, it's vital to stay active. According to the US National Institute of Health (NIH), walking is one of the easiest fitness tasks to add to your day. It requires no special training, equipment, or clothing. And best of all, it's always free!
Walking is beneficial for people of all ages but it can be especially beneficial for seniors. Let’s take a look at four of the main benefits of walking daily.
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health & Reduces Hypertension
For many seniors, the most valuable aspect of a daily walk is reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Regular walks can also:
- Reduce the risk of developing diabetes
- Help maintain a healthy weight
- Lower chances of stroke
- Help prevent coronary heart disease
According to a Harvard study, seniors should aim for at least 150 minutes of walking every week. You can break this up any way you like. If you're starting your fitness journey, perhaps try a few 20-minute walks throughout the day.
2. Eases Arthritis and May Lead to a Longer, More Comfortable Life
A daily walk can reduce the risks of various illnesses that could shorten a senior's life or make daily tasks uncomfortable. According to NIH, it's essential to stick to a routine. This way, the body becomes stronger and healthier, and you will build stamina and endurance.
Walking 30 minutes every day will strengthen your muscles, improve your balance, and reduce the risk of falls, which can lead to physical disabilities or mobility challenges.
Seniors with arthritis can also reduce pain in the knee and hip joints by taking a daily walk. This is turn will allow them to live a longer and more comfortable life.
3. Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar can increase because of a meal, stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, and other causes. Exercise for seniors, like a 30-minute walk, can reduce those blood sugar levels. You may also notice better muscle tone and improved body weight after a few weeks of daily walking.
Pro tip: Taking a 30-minute walk after a meal will improve digestion and strengthen your muscles. It can also help the insulin you create in your body work more effectively.
4. Boost Endorphins
After about 20 minutes of walking, glands in your body will create hormones called endorphins. These hormones are often referred to as "the brain's natural pain reliever." Exercise is one way to generate them, and (moderate) sunlight exposure is another. So, taking a 25-minute walk on a sunny day will reduce all sorts of pain you may experience, including arthritis, back pain, muscle aches and more.
Seniors can have a prolonged and healthy life if they keep up with a daily walking routine. Sarasota Bay Club is proud to offer many health and wellness classes and activities to our residents to help them live their best life. Contact us today to schedule a tour and explore our independent living community today.