Unexpected Health Benefits of Walking for Seniors

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Exercising is an important activity to do even when you are old. Unfortunately, many parents are no longer actively moving and choose to rest a lot at home.

In fact, by actively exercising, the health and strength of the elderly will be maintained so that they are not easily affected by diseases, you know. Just simply having the benefits of being outdoors would result in a much happier and stronger body.

Most parents spend their time resting and doing less heavy activities, such as sitting around, relaxing, and watching TV. They are reluctant to move actively because they feel they no longer have much energy and easily feel tired. 

In fact, just sitting around or lying down can make elderly people vulnerable to back pain or even rising the risk of serious illness. Exercise is very important to continue to be done even though you are old, because physical activity can provide many benefits to the health of the elderly.

One of the diseases often experienced by the elderly is joint pain or also called arthritis. The disease makes them difficult to move and parts of the body feel stiff. Doing light activities, such as walking can help reduce the pain. While morning running can strengthen the knees and joints

Increasingly advanced age will make memory and brain function decrease. Exercise or active movement like the benefits of tai chi, helps maintain the sharpness of the mind and memory by smoothing blood flow to the brain and helping the formation of brain cells.

Exercise can also facilitate blood circulation and metabolism, so that many serious diseases experienced by the elderly such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes can be highly prevented. Like they always say, it’s always better to prevent certain diseases first rather than curing them later.

So, to maintain physical and mental health, parents are encouraged to exercise regularly. However, due to stamina that is no longer high, parents are advised to do light exercise that is not too draining Among the other heavy sports, they can always rely on much lighter sports that only require a tiny bit of stamina.

Walking is one of many simple things you can do to enhance your body strength. Just simply walking may bring many health benefits for seniors, such as:

1. Maintain Heart’s Health

As you get older, maintaining heart health becomes something that should not be overlooked. Heart disease is one of the largest causes of death in the elderly according to the American Heart Association.

Several researches resulted in a fact that exercise can lower blood pressure and strengthen muscles, including the heart muscle. In addition, exercise can also help control weight.

To maintain heart health, people over the age of 50 do not want to do heavy exercise. Simple exercises such as walking or hiking can already support heart health. You can also try to have some benefits of yoga as well.

2. Easy Way to Refresh the Mind

Some people tend to have hobbies to keep them entertained. Some people also have their favorite things to play, like benefits of games for seniors in order to prevent boredom.

If you currently don’t have a special thing to do, you can just simply walk around your block. Do this especially in the morning, since the oxygen level is still high.

Walking down the street for a while may give you a perspective about your surroundings. You might be consuming your time mostly within your house, and eventually forgot what it’s like to be around. Simply walking, especially around a natural environment is one effective way to refresh your mind for a while. 

3. Reducing the Risk of Dementia

Several studies have revealed a link between physical activity and dementia risk reduction. The relationship between the two was judged to be related to better blood circulation due to exercise. It can be said that physical exercise affects the brain in various ways

A study in the journal Neurology in 2019 found that exercise is associated with a lower risk of cognitive impairment in older adults. Light exercises, including walking, can encourage the creation of sharper memory and concentration.

4. Strengthens the Bones

Osteoporosis or bone loss is one of the risks that older people will face. However, this risk can be reduced by doing some light sports, including walking.

Weight-holding exercise is the best type of exercise to lower the risk of osteoporosis and fractures in old age. But, more suitable activities when you are over 50 years old are walking, dancing, climbing stairs, and hiking, basically all the light sport activities. People over the age of 60 are advised to avoid high impact weight-holding activities such as jumping and running.

Exercise can help because the bone adapts to the pressure put on the bone. When a person exercises, there is physical pressure that the bone gets. This condition will trigger the bone to build new tissue so that the bone becomes denser and stronger.

5. Preventing Muscle Loss

Sarcopenia or decreased muscle mass associated with age is quite common in older adults. On the other hand, there is a presumption that muscle mass can no longer be built when a person has reached a certain age.

One of the best ways to fight sarcopenia is with exercise according to a study in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research in 2017. In addition to endurance exercises, walking can also help prevent sarcopenia.

Just do the simple, and less risky ways first, before actually trying some things more serious like the benefits of occupational therapy.