The Benefits of Walking for SeniorsDecember 1, 2022
As Newton famously stated, a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
Staying in motion is particularly important for seniors as they age, as it can help keep their bodies functioning and healthy. Studies have shown that regular physical activity like walking can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve mental health, and make daily living easier. Walking also has many social benefits, such as providing an opportunity to meet new people or simply enjoy nature at a leisurely pace.
Need more reasons to lace up your boots and hit the trails? Here’s how seniors can expect to benefit from regularly walking.
- Walking supports the immune system
Research has suggested that regular walking helps to support immune health by reducing inflammation-causing proteins in the body. As walking increases blood flow throughout the body, it helps white blood cells circulate more frequently, which aids in fighting off harmful bacteria or viruses. Therefore, getting out for a daily walk is an easy way to ensure your body gets the natural immune support it needs.
- Walking can help reduce chronic pain
For seniors, taking a walk can be an effective way to reduce pain and make daily activities easier. Studies have shown that walking can relieve pain from arthritis, backaches, and other joint-related issues.
Walking also helps maintain balance and coordination by strengthening the muscles around joints, improving range of motion, and reducing inflammation. Additionally, regular physical activity like walking has been linked to improved mental health in those aged 65 or older.
- Walking helps you stay fit
Walking is an excellent form of exercise for people who want to stay fit and manage their weight. Studies have shown that walking can burn up to four times more fat than running over the same distance, making it an ideal form of exercise for people looking to lose or maintain a healthy body weight.
Additionally, regular walking can help reduce the risk of obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Because it’s easy on the joints, it’s also a great option for those who cannot participate in high impact activities due to age or physical limitations.
- Walking helps alleviate stress
Regular walking offers numerous mental health benefits as well. Research suggests that just 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking five days per week can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
Walking can also help improve focus and concentration, as well as promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. Additionally, walking outdoors has been shown to reduce fatigue, improve mood, and even boost energy levels.
- Walking is good for your heart
Regular strolls can reduce the risks of many heart-related problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. In addition, walking can also lower a senior’s risk for diabetes, stroke and cardiac arrest.
Seniors who can walk a few times a week may be able to lower these risks by 15 -20% with a moderate amount of walking, while seniors who commit to daily walking routines can cut their risk of cardiac arrest by 30 to 50%.
The bottom line: walking promotes independent living
Regular walking can be extremely beneficial for seniors in helping them to stay independent for longer. Walking is low-impact, simple and easy to do on a regular basis. It helps to improve strength and balance, as well as reduce the risk of falls.
Walking also supports healthy blood pressure levels, strengthens bones and muscles, burns calories, increases energy levels and improves overall mental health. Furthermore, walking has been shown to help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
In addition to physical benefits that may help elderly individuals remain independent longer, there are psychological benefits as well. Walking regularly can provide social interaction with other people in their community or those who join them on walks. This helps to counter feelings of loneliness and isolation, as well as providing opportunities for conversation and companionship.
Overall, regular walking provides multiple benefits to seniors that can help them remain independent longer and lead healthier lives.
Wildflowers and walking trails, a heritage-rich location near Princeton University, luxurious services and amenities—Stonebridge at Montgomery’ premier Life Plan Community puts you at the center of it all.