One of my favorite ways to get some exercise is to go on a good long walk. Even if you don’t feel like you have a lot of energy, you can always muster up enough to put on a pair shoes and go for a casual walk. And if you’re feeling more sprightly, you may up the pace to a brisk walk to get the blood and sweat flowing and really get a good workout.
And even though everyone can come up with an excuse for not exercising from time to time, it is almost impossible to find an excuse to not be able to go on a walk. After all, it only requires a pair of good walking shoes and some spare time. It does not require you go to a gym or pay any membership dues, just walk out your front door and get to work.
Walking is a “low impact” form of exercise
Walking is a good form of exercise for just about anybody, but there are several reasons why it is especially beneficial for senior citizens. First, it is what’s called a “low impact” type of cardiovascular exercise meaning that it is not especially taxing on the joints or cardiovascular system.
This is important because many seniors suffer from arthritis and other joint conditions that make it difficult or painful to perform certain types of exercises. Walking can be done at your own pace, and if all you can muster is a slow walk, well, that might just be good enough to improve your muscle tone and flexibility and increase the strength of your heart.
Walking can be done anywhere and doesn’t require car
Secondly, seniors are often times not as mobile or able to travel to gyms or recreation areas in order to exercise. Some seniors don’t have a car or are unable to drive. But you can get some good exercise by just walking down the street in front of your home until you feel you had enough, and then turn around.
If it is been a while since you’ve been exercised, start out with as little as you can do and feel comfortable with, whether that be 5, 10, or 15 minutes. That is a good start and you will notice that your endurance will quickly improve if you continue with your walks.
It improves muscle strength and flexibility in seniors
As we get older, our bodies naturally lose muscle mass and flexibility, it is just part of life. But it is important for seniors to exercise in order to maintain their muscle strength and flexibility, and walking is a great way to do that.
You may have noticed that the more you use your body, the better it works in and the better you feel, and when you stop exercising for a period of time certain parts of your body start to ache and break down. Try to go for a walk every day or every other day to combat the aging process.
Walking helps to improve mood and build relationships
Starting a walking program will also likely help to improve your mood. It is well known that exercise is a good combat for depression and other mental conditions. In addition, it helps to stabilize blood sugar which also affects mood.
And lastly, walking allows seniors an opportunity to build relationships. Try to find a walking partner or partners because it is a lot more enjoyable than walking alone. Sometimes as we age, a feeling of isolation can accompany it and this can be a good opportunity to make a new friend.