The Benefits of Walking

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Walking is one of the safest, most beneficial types of exercise for the general population but especially for seniors. It’s an affordable way to stay fit as there is no need for a gym membership when stepping outside! It could be quite enjoyable whether you like to walk alone, with a friend or a companion. It can be done indoors if the weather is not permitting to have it done outdoors, however, there’s nothing better than taking a nice walk outside. 

The benefits of walking are countless. Some of those benefits are: 

  • increases cardiovascular and pulmonary health (heart and lungs)
  • improves conditions (in many cases controls) such as hypertension and HDL cholesterol and diabetes
  • Prevents many types of cancer
  • Reduces BMI (Body Mass Index) or body fat
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Increases endurance
  • Strengthens the bones
  • Improves balance
  • Controls joint and muscular pain as well as stiffness
  • Reduces hearth disease and stroke
  • Benefits mental health
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Improves overall well being
  • And the list goes on and on…

There are different types of walking exercises and they all have many benefits.  Some of the different types of walking exercises are: slow pace walking, brisk walking, interval walking, hill walking, water walking and treadmill walking. 

Slow pace walking is very relaxing and can benefit your mental health as it helps in decreasing anxiety and alleviates depression. Slow walking can also improve sleep quality as well as help with digestions and overall well being.

Brisk walking is walking about 6 km per hour at a pace not too fast and too slow. Mind you, one does not have to walk one full hour at a time especially if there are health or age barriers. The benefits of brisk walking are all the benefits outlined above.

Interval walking is walking as fast as possible for about 20 seconds than walk at a normal pace for about 40 seconds. This should be repeated for the time desired of course while considering your physical abilities.

Hill walking is just as it sounds- walking uphill. This recreation is an excellent outdoor activity but it can also be done indoors on treadmills with walking on hill/mountain feature. This type of walk improves leg muscles and helps in losing weight more rapidly due to an increased amount of burning calories. 

Water walking is extremely beneficial for seniors who are able to do this type of walk. It is usually done in a swimming pool and should be accompanied.  Water walking in a lake is not as recommended for seniors due to  natural affects like wind and waves that may cause falls. Some of the benefits of water walking are the reducing stress on joint pain and weight management as well as all benefits of regular walking.  Water walking is particularly good for those who suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis, back and joint pain. 

Treadmill walking is also very good for seniors, as when using the treadmill there’s no need to worry about obstacles in your way thus preventing accidental trips and falls. The benefits of treadmill walking are the same as regular walking with the exception of oxygen levels/quality-as it is done indoors. 

If you suffer from any medical condition please remember to consult your family physician before starting or changing your exercise regime. 

I hope this information is motivating more people to walk. If by any chance you would feel more comfortable for you or your loved one to do more walking with a companion please feel free to contact Friend Indeed Senior Assistance!

Happy Walking!

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