Being physically active is important in every stage of life, especially as one ages. But you don’t need to partake in high intensity physical activity to enjoy good health. Simple exercises like walking can improve your physical wellbeing. If you do plan on incorporating walking into your daily exercise regime, be sure to contact a medical professional to ensure that it’s right for you. Here’s why walking is so good for senior health.
Physical Benefits of Walking
Helps Build Stronger Muscles
Muscle loss can happen with age, however, walking can help you build and maintain stronger muscles. According to LiveScience, walking can stimulate numerous parts of your body including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves, as well as your spine.
Lowers Your Risk of Experiencing Serious Health Issues
Walking can also keep serious health issues such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes at bay. The leading causes of these diseases are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Walking helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Talk to your doctor about how physical activity can help prevent or delay these conditions.
Strengthens Your Bones
In addition to strengthening your muscles, walking also helps strengthen your bones. Ashtead Hospital explains “walking involves your feet and legs supporting your weight so that your bones have to work harder and this makes them stronger.” Strong bones can also reduce your chances of experiencing bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Improves Your Balance, Coordination and Flexibility
Good balance comes from a strong core and lower-body strength. Walking strengthens these areas which improves your balancing ability. Coordination and flexibility also improve when you walk because they are both closely related to your body’s balancing ability. Don’t stay sitting or stagnant too long, as you could be affecting your body’s ability to move better.
Helps You Lose Weight
For some individuals, the most motivating factor for adding walking to a physical exercise routine is the opportunity to lose weight. When you are physically active, you burn calories, which can result in shedding weight. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. of the Mayo Clinic explains “if you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day.” However, depending on how many calories you consume or how fast you walk, the amount of calories you will burn may vary.
Mental Benefits of Walking
Boosts Your Energy
Feeling a bit low? Going for a short walk can boost your energy. How? Walking releases endorphins, improves blood flow and provides more oxygen to your body. The increased blood flow and oxygen in your body helps you feel more energetic.
Improves Your Mood
Endorphins released during physical activity not only boost your energy, but can help you feel more positive. These “feel good” chemicals can put you in a more positive frame of mind. So the next time you’re in a bad mood, try going for a walk. It might help clear your mind.
Gives You a New Way To Spend Quality Time With Loved Ones
Walking is a great way to spend time with friends, family or neighbors. Take your grandchildren on a walk to the local park, or take a friend on a brisk walk around your community. If you’re looking for a way to meet new people, try joining a walking group.
Assists Your Sleep Routine
If you don’t do a lot of physical activity during the day, it could make it harder to sleep at night. However, adding walking or another type of exercise to your daily routine can help improve your sleeping habits, as exercise can enhance the effects of natural sleep hormones. If you are struggling with insomnia or other sleep issues, try walking in the evening so your body releases melatonin and helps you feel more tired at the end of the day. However, always be sure to speak to a medical professional before starting any new exercise regime.
Ways to Incorporate More Walking in Daily Life
Ready to reap the physical and mental benefits of walking? Here are a few ways you can incorporate walking into your daily routine.
- Explore your neighborhood. Your local community has so much to offer! The best way to discover cute coffee shops, delicious restaurants and fun venues is by walking.
- Take your dog for a walk. Your four-legged friend can help keep you healthy. Take him or her for a walk at least twice a day.
- Walk while watching TV. Multitask by walking during commercial breaks or set a ten-minute timer, pause the show or movie you’re watching and walk round the room.
- Take regular walking breaks between tasks. When you’re sitting for long periods of time working on a task, it can be easy to forget to get up and move. Set a 30-minute timer as a reminder to get up and walk at least half an hour into working on your task.
- Walk your errands. When you can, choose to walk to the grocery store or your medical appointment.
Live Well at Beacon Hill
At Beacon Hill, a sophisticated senior living community in Lombard, IL, you can create a retirement lifestyle that prioritizes your leisure and your health. Our beautiful campus was designed to be convenient and accessible. It’s easy to get to on-site amenities such as our beautiful gardens, dining venues and health services.
You also have the freedom to explore nearby Lombard, which offers trendy coffee shops, boutiques and more. Discover more about the Beacon Hill retirement lifestyle when you contact us.