Just by putting one foot in front of the other, seniors can improve their health and lengthen their lifespan. The National Institute on Aging suggests that walking can be a wonder drug for seniors. Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day will improve circulation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, alleviate arthritis symptoms, decrease anxiety and depression and promote weight loss.
Also, for every hour of regular, vigorous physical activity, like brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older Americans engage in moderate to mild aerobic exercise for at least 2.5 hours per week.
Don’t overdo it in the beginning. The secret to a successful walking program is making a plan and sticking to it. Benefits of walking come over time. Tailor your time and energy output to an appropriate level for your age and health status.
Before you begin, plot out your route. A flat and broad surface without too many hills is best for beginners. Incorporate arm motions into your walking routine will maximize aerobic benefits. If you have balance issues, you may also want to use a walking stick to help stabilize your steps. Set a sensible pace to start and give yourself at least 5 to 10 minutes at that speed before you begin to push yourself.
An American Heart Association study revealed that American adults are 76 percent more likely to take a walk if another person is counting on them, so it might be smart to walk with a partner.
You may also want to check to see if there are any walking clubs in your community. To find out if there is a walking club near you, click here.