Health Benefits of Walking for the Elderly

ElderlyWalking has been the most common physical activity that almost anyone can do. Some may not be aware but the simple act of walking is contributing to our overall health. Even so, this activity is often being neglected by individuals who can still easily walk, whether those younger or seniors 65+. Whether it is the fear of injury, feelings of lethargy, or other justifiable reasons, some seniors just would rather opt to stay to sit on the couch.

It helps to review some of the health benefits of the simple activity of walking.

Toning Your Muscles, Helps With Fall Prevention

Walking can improve one’s muscle strength, body coordination and the flexibility of joints. This helps to prevent falls in seniors. Just be sure to walk in an environment where the feet has good traction and physical support as needed, and definitely not in slippery places. In one 2015 study done in Japan, it was found that walking can be even more effective than balance training in preventing falls for community living seniors.

For younger people, even people well into their early 60s, falling down may seem like an unlikely occurrence. Unfortunately, the risks go up when a person ages. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in three adults over the age of 65 fall each year. Senior falls has been identified as the leading factor in causing senior injuries. Walking can be an effective exercise to help lower the risks.

Related: 10 Fall Prevention Tips For The Elderly

Reduction In Risks Of Alzheimer’s Disease

A more surprising fact about walking is that it can battle out the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and mild cognitive impairment. In one study done in 2010, researchers found that walking 6 miles a week could lead to a 50% reduction in the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. The same study also concluded that walking 5 miles a week slowed down the decline in their cognitive abilities by over 50%.

Related: How Medical Alert Systems Can Help Alzheimer’s & Dementia Patients

Meet New People

Walking also develops our parents’ social life. Having walks in the village or in the park can expose them to other people. Making them meet and mingle with new people can make them feel happier and lessen the feeling of being alone.

Weight Management

For those parents who are in need of watching their weight, walking is also a great solution. Walking is more suggested to older individuals as it is not as strenuous as other exercises like jogging and aerobics. But it also does the same trick of burning excess fats. In this way, you can control your parents’ weight in a mild physical activity that is walking.

More Benefits

You should never belittle the power of walking. It really does wonders for your parents’ holistic health, be it physical, emotional or mental. It may also serve as a preventative medicine for other possible illnesses that may come their way.

Finally, a great thing about walking is that it is not expensive. In fact, unless you want to fork out money for a gym membership, it does not cost anything. A good pair of footwear, a place with a nice ambiance to walk on and a walking buddy are enough. Scan the environment and shoes to ensure that the feet/shoes has good traction and physical support is provided as needed. After that, take a deep breath and enjoy!


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