With California saying its economy will open in June, signs are slowly coming about that society will return to normal.
If you’re a senior citizen, you may feel more comfortable with getting out a little more.
Did you know that you don’t need to do strenuous exercise to get the benefits of exercising?
You can get all the benefits exercise offers with moderate activity levels.
First, let’s start with the benefits:
1. Increase Your Cardiovascular Health
It’s no secret that heart disease is the leading killer of both adult men and women in the United States.
Walking a few miles per day keeps your blood pressure low, improves circulation, and wards off many of the beginning signs of cardiovascular disease.
2. Bolster Your Immune System
There is absolutely no doubt about walking’s ability to improve the effectiveness of your immune system.
Harvard Medical School cites a study of 1,000 adults which found that those who walked 20 minutes per day for 5 days each week experienced 43% less sick days than those who did not walk that much.
3. Strengthen Your Bones, Muscles, and Joints
Yes, walking does expose you to a little additional wear and tear and risk of injury.
But, the benefits of walking far outweigh the risks.
Studies have found walking reduces the risk of hip fractures, arthritic pain, and the loss of bone mass caused by osteoporosis.
4. Keep Your Mind Sharp and Focused
A University of California at San Francisco study found that women 65 or older who walked more experienced much less age-related mental decline. And the more they walked, the less this decline happened.
For men ages 71 to 93, those who walked a quarter of a mile per day experienced half the rate of Alzheimer’s and dementia versus those who didn’t walk at all.
There’s many more benefits to walking for seniors, including better sleep, living longer, a more positive mood, and building relationships with others.
We just don’t have time to cover every benefit in detail!
As a podiatry practice, it’s our job to make sure that when you do walk, you know how to do so safely.
If you’re a senior citizen, here’s what to look for:
1. Walk a Familiar Route
Do this to keep yourself safe from potential crooks and the threat of injury.
Consider driving the route before you walk it just to get a beginning understanding of any potential threats.
2. Walk with Someone Else
Walk with your spouse or a friend. Take your phone with you, just in case something goes wrong.
It’s hard to surrender your independence. But, it is the safer choice.
3. Wear the Right Footwear
The right shoes feel comfortable and help you keep your balance.
You may need specially designed orthotics for the best fit.
4. Don’t Rush
It’s hard not to do in American society. But, rushing only leads to more mistakes. And in this case, a mistake could be a broken bone.
Give yourself plenty of time to go on your walk.
5. If You’re Using a Cane or Walker…
Make sure it’s fitted for your height. The wrong height can make you unbalanced, which only increases your risk of injury.
That’s it. Don’t minimize the importance of walking and how it can benefit the quality of your life as a senior citizen.
When you do it, make sure you take every safety precaution, and enjoy your time outside!
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