Walking is a great way for seniors to stay active, and it supports healthy living in many ways. It also brings you a long list of benefits, including some you may not have realized. Here are our top-10 benefits seniors can get from walking regularly.
1. It Helps Control Weight
Walking burns calories, and it may even lessen the effects of certain obesity-promoting genes. That means walking helps seniors lose weight and maintain a healthy weight over time.
2. It Helps Lessen Cravings for Sugary Snacks
Multiple recent studies showed that something as simple as a 15-minute walk will actually help you tame your sweet tooth and even reduce the amount of sweets you might eat when stressed out.
3. It Reduces the Risks of Certain Cancers
The American Cancer Society has found that women who walk at least seven hours per week are at a 14% lower risk for developing breast cancer, in addition to lowering other contributing risk factors like obesity.
4. It Lessens Joint Stiffness & Pain
Walking is a healthy way to work your joints, giving them natural lubrication and nutrients. This helps keep them more flexible, reduces pain, and even slows down cartilage deterioration.
5. It Supercharges the Immune System
Another recent study found that people who walk at least 20 minutes per day, at least five days per week, were sick 43% fewer days per year, and walkers were found to have milder symptoms and shorter durations when they did get sick.
6. It Helps Improve Circulation
Walking gets the blood pumping, improving your cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the risks of heart disease. In fact, post-menopausal women who walk only one or two miles per day have a 20% lower risk of stroke.
7. It Makes You Stronger
Walking regularly makes your muscles stronger and your bones denser. This means better balance and less risk of falling, plus stronger bones reduce the risks of fractures in the event you do fall.
8. It Improves Sleep Quality & Mood
Regular exercise is great for sleep quality, which boosts mood and overall feelings of well-being. A study found that women aged 50 to 75 who took one-hour walks in the morning were less likely to experience insomnia than those who didn’t.
9. It Slows Down Cognitive Decline & Dementia
Age-related memory decline and the onset of dementia are proven to be reduced by walking. Men aged 71 to 93 in a recent study who walked more than a quarter-mile per day had half the incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
10. It Leads to a Longer, Happier Life
Not only does regular walking reduce seniors’ risks of death, it also lightens the mood and encourages healthy socializing that contribute to a longer, more fulfilling life with less feelings of isolation and boredom.