Top Benefits of Daily Walks for SeniorsSeptember 7, 2022
It doesn’t matter how old you are, finding the right wellness routine is a challenge. However, even the smallest steps can make an enormous improvement in your health. The health benefits of walking for seniors reach much further than physical fitness. Plus, walking is a simple exercise you can quickly work into your day.
So if you’re looking for an easy way to step on the path to a healthier life, look at these 6 reasons to take a walk whenever you can.
1. Control Your Blood Sugar After You Eat
Almost 30% of Americans over the age of 65 have diabetes. Most diabetics know it’s important to keep track of blood sugar levels, but dealing with spikes after eating can be difficult. High blood sugar after eating may lead to a foggy head,poor mood, nervousness … or even a worsening of your heart disease.
Light physical activity, like walking, right after eating has been shown to lower your blood sugar levels in only a few minutes. If you’re having trouble getting into a walking routine after eating, experts recommend starting with a stroll after dinner, because that’s when most people are the least active.
2. Discover a Variety of Benefits When You Walk Outdoors
You don’t always have to walk at top speed to get the health benefits of walking for seniors. Walking at a comfortable pace on a smooth path while surrounded by nature can improve your mental health, help you get in touch with your emotions and engage your senses. In fact, you can find many guided walking meditations on your favorite music apps like Amazon Music or Apple Music.
According to The Journal of Environmental Psychology, spending time in fresh air increases your energy and focus by delivering higher oxygen levels to your muscles and brain. Fresh air is also known to increase your serotonin levels, which also improves your mood. So the next time you need to hit the reset button on your day, go for a walk, and you’ll notice a clearer, sharper and calmer mind.
3. Strengthen Your Muscles and Ease Pain
Walking strengthens your muscles, which reduces the weight you place on your bones and joints. This can ease pain in places like your neck, shoulders, knees and back. Walking also lubricates your joints, which can help relieve aches and pains caused by arthritis.
Bring awareness to your abdomen by gently drawing your naval inward. This gently activates your core muscles, pulls your spine into alignment for better posture as you walk, and keeps your weight more centered to improve your balance.
4. Spend Quality Time with Friends and Family
One of the most special health benefits of walking for seniors is the mental health boost and social interaction you get when walking with your friends and family. You can join a walking group at your senior living community, schedule fun strolls with your grandkids, schedule a date night with your spouse, or simply enjoy a beautiful day on a hike with your dog.
Have fun and add walking into your day by getting out and exploring your surrounding community. Walk around at local shopping centers, get your steps in a fair or festival, or try a new coffee shop and take a walk in a park across town.
5. Make Healthier Choices Throughout the Day
Did you know there’s a bit of truth to the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? People who choose to eat an apple over something with less nutrition are more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day, leading to a better lifestyle and less time at the doctor’s office. The same goes for walking.
Starting your routine with a morning walk and a healthy breakfast are two excellent ways to begin your day. At Essex Meadows, we have several dining options that offer healthy, delicious menu choices, as well as scenic hiking trails, which makes your morning routine simple and enjoyable.
6. Lower Your Blood Pressure and Boost Your Heart Health
Adding a 30-minute walk to your daily routine has a variety of benefits for your heart health. It can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, fight weight gain, and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
However, it’s important not to compare your journey to others; some walking is better than none. All that matters is that you’re taking the steps to achieve a long, healthy retirement.
Your Journey to an Incredible Retirement Starts at Essex Meadows
Our senior living community in Essex, CT, is filled with everything you need to customize an active lifestyle during retirement. From our indoor saltwater pool and whirlpool to our executive golf course, there’s always a way to stay on the move at Essex Meadows. To learn more about our community, contact us online. We’re always happy to answer your questions!