The Benefits of Walking For Senior Citizens
For those who have been sedentary for years…or perhaps decades, the benefits of walking for seniors are numerous and with time can create a situation where seniors begin to regain their health and vitality. Below I will list the benefits of walking for seniors and the best ways to go about setting up a walking program.
Being that many seniors haven’t been active for years, starting a fitness walking program is the ideal way for them to start getting their body used to moving again. The benefits include:
• Being an ideal weight to lose weight
• A terrific natural way to lower your blood pressure. And being that blood pressure naturally increases as we age, a daily power walk is one of the ways that you can naturally lower your blood pressure.
• Exercise of this nature also helps to lower blood sugar, which should be an important consideration for diabetics.
• Walking will help to strengthen your cardiovascular system, improve the function of your heart and lungs and also improve the elasticity of your arteries.
• Being that walking works the largest muscles in the body [glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps], it is a great way to fight the effects of sacropenia, the natural tendency as we age for the body to lose muscle.
• Walking also strengthens the bones…important for women who are looking to fight the effects osteoporosis…and improves balance.
So with all of these benefits…not to mention that you need no special training to do it…it is the ideal exercise for seniors looking to end their sedentary ways. Now, let’s look at the best way to set up a fitness walking program for seniors.
Setting Up a Fitness Walking Program:
1. Get a Physical
This applies to everyone in general but especially to seniors. If you have not been active for an extended period of time you need to understand your current physical condition and any ailments you may be experiencing. As a result, your doctor may put certain restrictions on your activities.
2. Where Will You Walk
Determine whether you are going to walk outside or inside. Will you find a track around your house or will you walk on a treadmill. There are pros and cons to both.
3 Walking Outside
The benefit of walking outside is that you can get out, enjoy the scenery and can choose between multiple tracks and paths. The downside is that you have to deal with traffic, the weather, stray dogs, etc…
The benefit is that you are walking in a controlled environment [your home or gym], and are unaffected by weather. The downside? It's BORING!
5. Walking Shoes
Get a good pair of shoes…with gel inserts for additional support. The worst decision you could make is to go and buy a $15 pair of sneakers at Wal-Mart and start walking in them for long durations. The shoes will fall apart in no time. Instead, invest in a good quality walking shoe that will support your feet, and the rest of your body.
Here is a great guide that will help you choose the
best walking shoes
for your particular needs.
6. Your Plan
Start out slow and build over time. If you have been sedentary for an extended period don’t expect to start out with 4-5 mile walks. You know your body better than anyone.
Set a reasonable goal to start the process and then increase the length and intensity of your walk with each workout. And before you realize it you will be going further than you ever thought possible.
About the author:
Tony Rovere became an advocate for senior citizens and senior-health issues after having to deal with the complexities of the Medicaid process following his mother’s heart attack.
He now shared his insights on caregiving and senior issues at his blog, Stuff Seniors Need, which was created to help not only senior citizens but the baby boomers who are now their caregivers.
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