Walking could be said to be one of the simplest exercises because it is a normal thing that most people do. We walk from one place to another, to pick up or leave something, to check out something, to get something done, etc. Without even having to put much thought into it, most people walk to accomplish many of their goals. For that reason, we often overlook the healthy benefits of walking. Especially as we age, it is important to work even more walking into our regular routine. Here are six reasons why:
1. Improve Blood Circulation
One of the great benefits of walking is that it improves blood circulation. The process of blood circulation starts when the heart relaxes between two heartbeats. The lower chamber expands when blood flows from the upper chamber, atria, into it. Blood circulation is vital because it supplies oxygen to the brain and other organs of the body, which helps cell growth. Walking will help improve circulation and bring all of these benefits of blood circulation to the body.
2. Lose weight
Healthy weight loss is essential for those that are heavier than their target weight range. With that, there are healthy and unhealthy methods to lose weight. If you are not losing weight with approved methods, this could be very dangerous to your body. Being overweight also exposes you to an increased risk of a significant number of illnesses, diseases, and health complications. You could be at the risk of having high blood pressure, heart diseases, some types of cancer, and some other chronic problems. One way to lower these risks is by losing weight, and by then keeping the weight off. One of the best and healthiest ways to lose weight is by walking. You do not necessarily have to walk the whole town before it is considered an exercise. Regularly walking a few miles, or whatever is achievable for you, will put you on the right path and help you achieve it.
3. Lower Alzheimer's risk
Older adults are at greater risk of Alzheimer's, as its first symptoms usually appear after 60 years of age. It is an irreversible disease that progressively destroys memory and thinking skills. In its early stage, there is usually a mild memory loss. In its late-stage, an individual will lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Regular physical exercise, like walking, has been proven to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 50 percent.
4. Improve sleep
Some older adults have insomnia, the inability to sleep well at night. Frequently, the symptoms of insomnia worsen with age. This could be as a result of stress, or several other medical conditions. It has been proven that walking, especially in the morning, helps to develop a strong circadian rhythm, which helps promote healthy sleep. If stress is the cause of your insomnia, exercise also helps reduce stress. In this way, you can get a night of more restorative sleep.
Learn more about sleep:
- 10 Tips for a Better Night's Sleep
- What are the Best Sleeping Positions for Older Adults?
- 5 Benefits of a Full Night's Sleep for Older Adults
- 8 Reasons You're Not Getting Your Best Sleep
5. Strengthen muscles
Having healthy and strong muscles is important because it helps you move freely and keeps your body healthy. Strong muscles enable your internal organs to function well too. It helps protect the bones from injury and gives support to the joints and protects them from arthritis. It provides stability and improves balance and coordination. Having healthy muscle will depend on how well you partake in physical exercises, of which walking is one.
Click here to learn more strength exercises you can do at home!
6. Improve breathing
Difficulty in breathing could be very frustrating. You are trying to breathe, but you can't do it well. You may know how strenuous, frustrating, and unpleasant that could be. One way to help prevent poor breathing or reduce the symptoms is by walking. Walking increases the lung capacity, and this strengthens the lungs and improves your ability to breathe.
A healthy retirement involves having peace of mind, staying healthy, and not spending money on unnecessary medications or procedures that could have been avoided. Instead, retirement should be a time for you to relax, be happy, and grateful. To achieve this, it is worthwhile to take a few precautions and prevent all undesirable health effects. Older adults should never neglect physical activities; it is a way to improve and maintain their health. A simple exercise like walking is a great step and one part of a complete workout routine to move your health in the right direction.