Why Seniors Should Be Walking Every Day
Walking is a simple form of exercise many of us can do even as we age Here’s why you or your loved one should make time to walk every day as long as you have doctor approval to engage in light fitness activities..
Staying active when suffering from arthritis provides much-needed nourishment to painful joints. Walking promotes mobility and stimulates the movement of synovial fluid, the viscous liquid responsible for delivering nutrients to joint cartilage.
Regular movement also strengthens muscles, which in turn reduces the burden on joints already worn by age.
Weight-bearing exercise, including walking, puts positive stress on bones and prompts them to rebuild more strongly.
One study showed walking 30 minutes per day could reduce hip fractures by 40 percent. This is a particularly significant benefit, since suffering such a fracture can double a person’s all-cause mortality rate in the coming years.
Wearing a weighted vest and gradually increasing the weight over time may also be advantageous, but talk with a doctor before attempting this.
Better Heart Health
Fast-paced, high-impact exercise keeps your heart healthy, but many seniors can’t safely engage in these workout programs. Fortunately, low-impact walking can also provide some pretty big cardiovascular benefits.
For example, taking a walk every day may lower the risk of cardiac arrest by 30 to 50 percent. A regular walking regimen can also lower blood pressure, cholesterol and the risk of both heart attack and stroke.
Memory tends to decline with age, but it’s possible to slow the rate just by walking. As little as a quarter mile of walking per day can cut a senior’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in half.
The longer the walk, the more beneficial it is for memory. Seniors who can walk 2.5 miles or more per day may experience 8 percent less memory decline than those who barely walk at all.
According to the CDC, 70 to 90 percent of seasonal deaths from the flu occur in people age 65 and older. Walking 20 or more minutes per day, five days a week has been shown to reduce sick days by 43 percent, thus minimizing the risk of contracting the flu and other illnesses with the potential for serious complications in seniors.
If you are a loved one are experiencing mobility issues, need support during light fitness activities, or have other needs, learn more about Caring Home Care’s services today. Our in-home caregivers are certified to provide assistance to seniors and have been doing so since 2003.