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There are many benefits to walking, so it’s essential to make sure you’re getting in your daily steps. Walking is one of the best exercises for seniors because it doesn’t require any equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime. In fact, as people age, they should walk more than younger adults because their bodies need more exercise. Walking strengthens bones and muscles, improves mood, boosts weight loss, and lowers the risk of many diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Seniors need to get enough physical activity each day-walking is a great way to do that!
A study from Stanford and the University of California, Davis, found that walking up to 30 minutes a day can stop the natural decline in gait speed by as much as 2.2% per year. Lowering your risk of dementia is just one more reason you should try to walk every day. The need for this information is especially critical with the current demographic shift in society. It’s predicted that by 2050 there will be two million people in the U.S. over 60 years old and between 3-5 million seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.
Tips on how to incorporate more walking into your daily routine
Plan your day so that you get up from your desk at least once every hour to stretch and walk around for about 5 minutes. Walk in the center of streets or bike lanes, so you’re less likely to get hit by a car. Park at the end of the street if you have to go shopping, take the stairs instead of an elevator, and negotiate for a parking spot closer to the door when possible. Keep up with your walking as you age. Choose suitable footwear (walking shoes), dress for the weather (wear layers and bring a change of clothes in case of rain), and select routes that are feasible for older adults (elevator-free). And, above all, enjoy your walks!
How to stay motivated when you’re not feeling up for a walk today
It’s not always easy to get up and go for a walk when you’re feeling less than energetic. Here is some advice on how to feel motivated for a walk:
- Take a break, do some stretches, drink some water or tea, and come back to your desk/place of work.
- Make a list of all the reasons you want to be healthier- because it’ll lower your risk of diabetes, make you sleep better, and bring a sparkle back to your eyes.
- Plan for the future with “when I’m healthy goals” that can inspire you to get up and walk today
- Find a buddy or partner who will motivate you, go on long walks with them.
- Expect success- know that each time you walk, you’re doing something good for your body and mind, and pat yourself on the back for every 20 minutes of activity.
- Find something to look forward to setting up an appointment with yourself, and you’ve made it a habit to walk by now. Going out, getting something cool place, or whatever your pleasure is!
- Say no to negative self-talk- mine goes like this “I failed today, I’m not going to get the right amount of walking in, and it’s no good for me.” Instead, say things like, “Oh well, I didn’t walk enough today, but that doesn’t mean I’ll fail tomorrow; maybe tomorrow will be a better day.”
- Rejoice that you made it out whether your 20 minutes of the activity happened or not; give this a fist pump!
The benefits of walking with a friend or loved one for Seniors, as well as other ways to make sure you get enough physical activity each day, are immense. They include:
- Reaching the goal of 2,000 steps per day
- Staying connected to friends and family
- Boosting moods
- Improving immune system function and reducing stress
- Avoiding isolation in old age
- Being more independent- you can walk whenever is convenient for you
- Reducing the risk of osteoporosis and losing weight
- Improving overall health in old age by strengthening the heart and lungs and maintain muscle mass
- Preventing falls by improving balance, increasing bone strength, reducing depression, and boosting moods
Walking is one of the best exercises for seniors. It’s a low-impact, weight-bearing exercise that can be done anywhere and anytime. Plus, it strengthens bones and muscles, improves moods, boosts weight loss, and lowers the risk of many diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. The need for this information is especially critical with the current demographic shift in society where there are more older adults than ever before who may have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050 or sooner if diagnosis rates continue to rise at their current rate. Which benefits do you get from walking? We hope these tips help motivate you to start incorporating more walks into your daily routine today!