As the year draws to a close, cooler air should follow, providing a relief from the heat we are so often exposed to down here in the South. If you look at your daily routine and realize you live a sedentary lifestyle, you might be trying to increase your physical activity. Look no further than the simple walk, a tried and true way to stay healthy and active as you age. This blog will tell you all about the benefits of walking as exercise – and how to implement them in your everyday life.
Benefits of Walking As A Hobby
Is walking really beneficial? If you, as an older American, are not making an effort to exercise and move outside of your daily routine, you might be living an unhealthy lifestyle that can be improved with the simple act of walking.
When it comes to physical health, there are too many studies to list; all of them will tell you that walking will improve your long-term health outcomes. Walking has been shown to improve heart health, reduce the risk of swelling due to arthritis and joint problems, and reduce blood sugar level spikes. Often, a healthy body will respond to medications even better, so your health improvements due to walking will pay dividends in the future.
Walking also provides a daily chance to get out of the house and into the world, experiencing all of the sights and social interactions lacking within your home’s walls. A 2019 study found that spending just 2 hours a week out in nature has noticeable improvements in health and general happiness. Many assisted living facilities have grounds perfectly suited for walking, well maintained, and landscaped to promote clear thoughts and brain health improvements.
As Americans age, some become isolated from the outside world and receive little to no social interaction. You will undoubtedly meet and interact with many people when you leave the house to walk. Many older Americans also form groups where like-minded people can come together to experience exercise and companionship together.
How To Implement a Daily Walk Into Your Routine
The best part about walking as your choice of physical activity is the ease of access that all people have to it. Everyone can open their front door and start, but there are some things to consider before you begin.
A comfortable pair of walking shoes is of utmost importance. Not only will your general comfort and happiness improve, but you will also reduce the risk of injuries to your legs and feet. These accidents are best avoided, whether it be blisters or a tragic fall resulting from mismatched shoes. A good investment in a pair of sturdy walking shoes is an easy preparation that pays dividends for years to come.
If you don’t know how to start or where to begin walking, find a local group of similarly aged walkers. These groups can commonly be found at adult residences, especially here in the Sunshine State – and more experienced members of the group can assist you with any concerns or questions you might have. At the beginning of your new exercise journey, you might find yourself becoming tired or weary following a long walk. If these issues persist, you should seek medical help. However, over time, you will likely feel a newfound sense of strength and longevity that was not present in your life before.
Remember: Always speak to your doctor before taking on a new exercise regimen.
Aging can’t be avoided, but you can still take an active role in improving your health outcomes as you age.
A Banyan Residence is a professional assisted living and memory care center located in Venice, Florida.