Regular physical activity is important at any age, but is especially important as we get older. Incorporating walking into your daily routine for 150 minutes per week (about 30 minutes a day, five days per week) has proven to be highly beneficial for older adults mentally and physically. Best of all, it’s a low-impact form of exercise that can still give you tremendous results. Read on to learn why this form of exercise is so good for senior health. However, be sure to speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your exercise regime.
1. Reduces Loneliness
Loneliness has negative mental health effects, no matter your age. This makes it all the more important to continue maintaining old relationships and forming new ones. Walking can help you meet new people and gives you a chance to have the quality time necessary to forge strong relationships. The social aspect of walking can make it an even more enjoyable activity, encouraging you to get your steps in.
There are plenty of ways you can socialize while you walk. Ask your friends or family if they’d like to join you for a walk. Organize a group walk with others in your community. Look for public local walking groups that you can join. If your loved ones live far, give them a call while you go for a stroll.
2. Mitigates the Risk of Falls
A fall has the potential to be fatal to seniors. Thankfully, certain exercises, like walking, can improve your balance and coordination, lowering your fall risk. Walking strengthens your entire musculoskeletal system, especially your ankle and foot muscles, which stabilize your hips, back and neck. Walking also helps build bone strength and encourages joint mobility and flexibility.
3. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Aerobic exercise supports circulation, healthy blood pressure, endurance and your cardiovascular system. As a form of aerobic exercise, walking is great for your cardiovascular system because it strengthens your heart, promotes blood flow and can regulate your blood pressure. In addition, walking can help you manage any existing chronic conditions and can lower the risk of obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack, heart disease, premature death and other health issues and illnesses.
4. Supports Good Mental Health
Walking regularly helps improve different aspects of your mental health. This exercise can boost memory and concentration, improving cognition. It also prompts your brain to lower cortisol and release endorphins, which helps lower feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, and can enhance your sense of well-being. Take walks outdoors to amplify the mental health benefits of walking even more.
5. Enhances Sleep Quality
A good night’s rest can do wonders for your mental and physical health. As we sleep, our mind and body rest and repair themselves, giving us the energy we need to take the next day in stride. Getting enough good-quality sleep – about seven to nine hours per night – can help improve cognition, mood, immunity, cardiovascular health and much more.
How does walking affect sleep? Physical activity requires you to exert your energy and enhances your mood, both of which can help you fall (and stay) asleep. Be careful not to walk too close to bedtime, as this can keep you awake at night. Instead, try a morning walk.
How Village on the Green Can Get You Moving
Living well can be much more achievable when you live in a community that prioritizes health and wellness. Village on the Green is a vibrant senior living community designed to help you live the retirement lifestyle you deserve. We provide an array of services and amenities to support your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. From well-manicured walking paths to a fitness center and aerobics studio to events where you can make friends with fellow exercise aficionados, we’ve got a range of ways for you to stay moving.
Contact us today to see if our community is the place for your life’s next adventure.