Walking comes with a lot of health benefits, especially for seniors. It improves their health and overall wellbeing while helping them lead an independent life for a long time. According to the experts, 30 minutes of walking every day can help avoid a sedentary lifestyle and improve overall health. It is also effective in reducing the risk of many chronic conditions.
Here is why the seniors need to walk in their everyday routine:
1. Lowers the risk of elderly disability
Walking regularly helps reduce the risk of developing physical disability among older people. A 2008 study found that regular walking lowers the risk of developing a physical disability among elderly adults by 41 percent. Also, it helps them maintain their independence.
2. Lowers blood sugar
You need to walk for 15 minutes after a meal reduces the post-meal increase in blood sugar level. The human body utilizes blood sugar more effectively and strengthens the muscles due to walking after a meal. The insulin also works better because of the physical activity.
3. Brings about longevity
Walking not only adds a few years to the lifespan of young individuals. It also improves the longevity of older people. Research has also suggested a link between walking and a longer lifespan. A 2015 study indicates that walking for 25 minutes every day increases the lifespan by up to seven years.
4. Boosts immune system
The health benefits of walking include an improved immune system. This form of exercise can provide protection against illness. Many studies have shown that regular walking reduces the frequency of getting sick and also the duration of illness. One study found that people who walk 20 minutes every day had a 43 percent fewer sick days than those who did not walk.
5. Improves mental health
The need to walk offers the seniors a great opportunity to meet up with others. They can spend time with your friends or neighbors and enjoy their environment as well during a daily walk. This boosts the mental health of elderly adults. Walking also stimulates the release of endorphins, which emit a sense of wellbeing. That improves mood, reduces stress, and alleviates the symptoms of anxiety and mild depression.
6. Increased mental sharpness
The mental sharpness tends to deteriorate with age. Walking can help prevent or slow down this deterioration. A study conducted by the University of California found a link between walking and the slowing down of mental decline. The study focused on 6000 women aged 65 and more. The senior women who walked often experienced less memory decline than the non-walking participants.
Many studies have found that the need to walk can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. A study found that men between the ages of 71 and 93 had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia due to walking a quarter-mile every day.
7. Prevents and alleviates arthritis pain
Many people would find it hard to believe that walking every day can be helpful in reducing arthritis pain. That is because one might think that physical activity might be too painful to continue regularly. However, many studies have shown that walking can not only reduce but also prevent arthritis pain. It lubricates hip and knee joints while strengthening the muscles around them. It alleviates the strain put on the joint itself.
8. Stops bone-mass loss
Bone-mass loss can cause bones to break easily and faster. Walking can help stop or slow down. Many experts recommend senior citizens facing the risk of osteoporosis to walk for maintaining their bone mass. One study shows that walking 30 minutes every day can reduce the occurrences of hip fractures by 40 percent in seniors.
Be mindful of the shoes you wear for walking
Seniors should put considerable thought into the walking shoes they are going to wear for walking. The shoes should be comfortable and supportive so that you are able to continue the practice every day. Comfortable sneakers are a good choice, but make sure that they fit well. You can consult a podiatrist or doctor for advice about suitable footwear for walking. All in all, you can see that it is very important to get exercise which is why you need to walk ever day.