Walking is one of the best ways to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, as you age. Physical health benefits can include better bone density, less stress on your heart and joints, and an overall decrease in the risk of disease. But it also helps your mental health by keeping your brain active, improving your mood, and reducing symptoms of depression. With so many potential benefits of walking as you age, it’s important to make sure that you stay in shape and do it regularly. So what’s the best way to get started?
Exercise can help boost brain chemistry that helps elevate mood. When people take a daily walk, they will see positive changes in their mood very quickly. Researchers measured depression in men with mild to moderate depression who had recently taken up daily walking for at least 30-45 minutes. They discovered that as little as six weeks later, participants reported feeling less sad or blue and were better able to control negative thoughts about themselves.
Reduce Risk of Chronic Diseases
Walking is a great way for seniors to reduce their risk of disease. The CDC reports that 70% of people who suffer from chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, or depression are physically inactive. And exercise like walking can reduce the risk of these conditions and lower your mortality rate by 30%. Walking is a great low-impact exercise for everyone. Walking every day reduces the risk of chronic disease and leads to higher self-esteem and better mental health. Staying active in later life helps seniors maintain an active social life too!
Helps Maintain a healthy weight
As we age, our metabolisms slow down. While weight gain is a natural part of aging, seniors are more likely to become overweight or obese because of inactivity. Luckily, though, staying active can help your body maintain a healthy weight even as you get older. Physical activity helps burn calories, and muscle tissue breakdown slows down. Keeping yourself in shape is just one way that walking can make an impact on your health—it can also improve your heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.
Live a longer life
There are a lot of reasons to walk for health. A meta-analysis of almost 200 studies showed even more impressive benefits; it revealed that every half hour spent walking each day cut mortality risk by 4%. A 2014 review focused on walking as exercise among seniors found that regular physical activity can significantly reduce all-cause mortality. Other studies have shown that regular walking can improve sleep quality and minimize depression—both things we should be concerned about as we age. In short, taking walks every day could help us live longer, healthier lives.
Mary and Martha’s Personal Care is committed to improving the quality of life of their seniors. Walking is one component of helping seniors live a healthier lifestyle. For further information, please call Mary and Martha’s Personal Care at 706-866-7454 or visit maryandmarthaspersonalcare.com.