While we often try to avoid walking, like those times we look for a parking spot closest to the grocery store to limit the distance we have to walk inside, walking has many benefits, especially for seniors. Even just 30 minutes of walking a day can help you avoid an inactive lifestyle and improve your health in many ways. Read below to learn more of the benefits of walking.
- Improves heart health. Walking is an aerobic exercise, and this is great news for your heart! Raising your heart rate regularly with an activity like walking reduces your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
- Lowers blood sugar. Taking a short walk after eating can reduce the after-eating blood sugar spike some seniors experience. Regular walking helps your body to use blood sugar more effectively to strengthen muscles and can help insulin to work better as well.
- Reduces pain. Walking regularly can help to reduce pain from conditions like arthritis, and it can also help to strengthen abdominal and back muscles, which will help relieve lower back pain.
- Low participation cost. You can walk anywhere with a good pair of shoes! You don’t need any special equipment, and in good weather, you can enjoy some fresh air on your walk.
- Promotes social engagement. Walking can help you to meet other seniors and develop new friends.
- Boosts mental health. Walking regularly can help your overall mood, and the endorphins you get from exercise can reduce anxiety as well.
If you’re new to walking or an exercise regimen, start off slow with a 10-minute walk and then slowly increase your time and pace each day. Make sure you have a good pair of tennis shoes and choose a walking route that is safe and free from hazards. Check out our calendar of events for days Sowega Council on Aging offers a “Senior Stroll” if you’re interested in walking with others.