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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Healthy Aging Tips: The Physical and Mental Benefits of a Daily Walk

When it comes to tips for healthy aging, walking is near the top of the list. Walking is an effective way to reduce the risk of heart disease, manage your weight, improve your outlook, and banish stress. And the best part is, all you need to do is to throw on a pair of sneakers and make your way outside. Apart from that, walking outdoors comes with plenty of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. Read on below to find out more about how this enjoyable habit can benefit you. 

Physical health benefits 

Walking has many health benefits because it is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Going for a brisk walk can get your heart rate pumping, your blood really circulating, and will help you burn plenty of calories. “Brisk” refers to a walking pace that’s around 120 steps or more every minute. 

You will also use a lot more energy than you expect. For example, a 140-pound person can burn approximately 90 calories for every mile walked. Another benefit to walking compared to other cardio workouts is that it’s a relatively low-impact exercise, which means it’s easier on ligaments and joints. Compared to running — which is a high-impact activity that involves excessive pounding on the ground — walking lets you plant one foot on the ground at all times, thus minimizing the impact to your body. 

Mental health benefits 

Walking provides us with more than just physical health benefits; it’s also beneficial for mental health. This is because it helps to circulate blood throughout the body and the brain. By simply taking a walk, your mood may improve by: 

  • Helping you become more confident in yourself

  • Reducing feelings associated with depression, stress, and anxiety

  • Giving you the feeling of having more energy

  • Providing you with better-quality sleep 

Therapists will often recommend that patients start a fitness routine that involves walking to help improve mood and prevent mental illnesses. And even if you don’t have an existing medical condition, you will still be able to reap the benefits that come with walking. 

Tips to help you get started 

  • Bringing a friend or joining a group will make walking a more enjoyable and social activity to do. And when you enjoy something, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. You’ll also have someone to keep you motivated. 

  • Walks don’t have to be isolated. You can walk to the post office or grocery store rather than driving. In this way, you can cross things off your to-do list and get exercise simultaneously. 

  • Wear proper gear for the weather, including dressing in layers during winter and wearing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen during summer. Reflective clothing is also a great idea.

  • Always be aware of the surroundings. Never take a walk through unfamiliar and dark areas, especially when you’re alone. 

Walking isn’t just a good idea for seniors, but for people of all ages. Because it has so many advantages to offer, everyone can certainly benefit from taking a regular walk. Walking every day can work wonders for anyone who wishes to maintain their health, lose weight, or improve their mood. To find out more about senior living options that encourage regular exercise including walking, check out our guide, Choosing the Best Senior Living Option

Please call (703) 420-7105 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

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