Walking As Exercise For Seniors

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Moderate Or Vigorous Activity

10-minute Indoor Walking Workout for Seniors, Beginner Exercisers

You can combine either moderately intense or vigorously-intense physical activities to reach the total activity. Try mixing it up with some days of moderate aerobic exercise and others of vigorous aerobic exercise. Or, you can perform some moderate activity with intense bursts throughout the session.

Choose the activities you enjoydancing, brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. It’s also fun to add some variety and enjoy different activities throughout the week.

Walking Exercises For Seniors

Walking is the best wonder drug for senior citizens.The National Institute on Aging suggests that regular aerobic activity such as walking has health benefits across the board for older Americans. The advantages of walking as exercise include alleviation of arthritis symptoms, less anxiety and depression and overall heart health, among other perks.

What You Will Need For Walking

For starters, make sure you wear correct shoes for walking. Comfortable sneakers work well for most people. If theyre new shoes, try them on first to make sure they fit well and are comfortable. If you have foot problems or want advice about the best suitable footwear, talk to your doctor or podiatrist, who can help you get started and keep your walking program on track.If you use a cane or a walker, dont let that stop you either. These can improve your balance and help lighten the load on your joints to make it easier when youre out and about. If youd like support but dont have a cane or a walker, talk to your GP or physiotherapist for help. Remember, all walking aids need adjustment, and should be properly maintained. So see a professional to ensure you have the right fit along with anything else you might need.

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Physical Health Benefits Of Exercise For Seniors

As an older adult, exercise can help you to:

Maintain or lose weight. As your metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight can become a challenge. Regular exercise helps increase your metabolism and build muscle mass, helping your body to burn more calories.

Reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease. People who exercise tend to have improved immune and digestive functioning, better blood pressure and bone density, and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

Enhance your mobility, flexibility, and balance. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility, and posture, which in turn can help with your balance and coordination, and reduce your risk of falls. Strength training can also help alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Walking Other Exercise Helps Seniors Stay Mobile Independent

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If you want to stay healthy and mobile well into old age, start walking todayeven if youve already edged into “old age.”

Thats the conclusion of a report from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders trial. The trial included more than 1,600 men and women between the ages of 70 and 89. None exercised regularly, and all were relatively frail. Half were randomly assigned to an exercise program that included daily walking plus strength and balance exercises. The other half took part in education workshops on healthy aging that included some gentle stretching routines.

After 2½ years, the volunteers in the exercise group were 28% less likely to have become disabled compared to those in the education group. They were also 18% less likely to have had any episode of physical disability.

The improvements, while promising, probably dont capture the real benefit of exercise. Thats because some of the people in the workshops, who learned how exercise can lead to healthier aging, became more physically active on their own. If none of the workshop and stretch people exercised, the results of the structured program would have been more impressive.

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Helps In Weight Management

Brisk walking around your senior living community in Rancho Mirage can help you maintain a healthy weight. This simple exercise enables you to burn extra calories and reduce those unwanted fats in your belly.

Additionally, walking can also aid those who want to lose weight. But of course, you should pair it with a proper diet and healthy lifestyle habits.

Do Not Walk In Puddles Or Other Wet Surfaces

Walking on wet surfaces can lead to slips, falls, sprains, and even fractures because of how slippery it becomes when wet. Walking too much can also cause pain by putting more pressure onto joints which could be aggravated by having to walk through puddles as well. Walking shoes are not waterproof so if youre going outside then make sure your socks are dry before wearing them again for another walk. When indoors try not to wear any water-based footwear like slip-on but opt instead for something that has some traction such as sneakers with rubber soles or regular shoes.

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Walking Tips For Seniors

If you have ever tried to get healthier, you know that starting an exercise program can be a challenge no matter what stage of life you are in.

Seniors who are sedentary will want to start slow and begin exercising for just 10 minutes a day. Hey, at least theyre moving!

They should gradually work their way up to:

  • Getting about 150 minutes of exercise per week. This can be through walking or another moderate intensity exercise .
  • Do some type of resistance training two or three times per week. Use weights or machines but dont do this two days in a row because the body needs time in between to build up the muscles.
  • Stretch and do other activities that improve flexibility and balance daily .

So, walking is great that much is clear. However, it is also poses some dangers and risks. Here are some walking tips for seniors to help get them on the road to independent mobility in the safest way possible:

Walking Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make After 60 Say Walking Experts

20-minute Indoor Walking Workout for Seniors, Beginner Exercisers

According to physical therapist Damien Powell, PT, when a healthy young adult goes out for a brisk walk, the locomotive power in their lower body is evenly distributed across their main joints: the hip joint supplies 33% of the power, the knee 33% of the power, and the ankle the exact same amount. However, an elderly person walking at the same speed? They will likely experience a “redistribution” of those powers, largely driven by issues involving the Achilles tendon and the fact that older people, by the time they reach their late 60s and beyond, have experienced a profound loss of muscle mass in their legs.

“Rough estimates are the elderly propulsive power is the hip joint provides approximately 74% , the knee 13%, and ankle 12%,” he says.

In other words, if you walk for exercise in your older years, you may not realize that your body behaves differently when you walk. As a result, you’ll find that you inevitably walk at slower speeds, you walk with an inefficient gait, and you may walk with less-than-ideal posture. The kinetic chain is disrupted, and your walk overall becomes less coordinated. If you throw in issues such as osteoarthritis, the pain you experience while walking will compound.

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Products To Encourage Seniors To Walk

As we get older, its important to keep active and moving to maintain our health and mobility. Walking is a great way to do this, but getting motivated to walk can be tough, especially as we age.

1. A good pair of shoes comfortable shoes with good support are important for anyone who wants to walk more, but theyre especially important for seniors. Look for shoes with cushioned soles and good arch support to reduce foot pain and fatigue.

2. A Fitbit watch a Fitbit or other pedometer can be a great motivator to walk more, by helping you track your progress and see how much youre really walking.

3. A dog If you dont already have one, consider getting a dog! They make great walking companions and will help you stay on track with your

4. A walking stick a walking stick can provide extra stability and support when walking, making it easier for seniors who may have balance issues. It can also be used as a cane if needed.

5. A walking trail map exploring new walking trails is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise, but its important to know where youre going. A good walking trail map will help seniors find safe, scenic routes to walk.

6. A water bottle staying hydrated is important for everyone, but its especially vital for seniors. A good water bottle will help seniors stay hydrated while theyre out walking, and it can also be used as a weight to help tone muscles as they walk.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

As far as low-impact, high-reward exercises go, rowing is a top-tier piece of exercise equipment. Rowing is a resistance-based exercise, so its great for building stamina and building bone mineral densitysomething every senior should be concerned about. And while its tempting to think rowing is only for the young, its not. As with many other types of exercise equipment, seniors can easily change the resistance level on a rower to suit their fitness level, or they can row slower to control the resistance.

For seniors interested in rowing to get their daily dose of exercise, the Concept2 Model D rowing machine would be an excellent addition to their home gym. This rower uses an air flywheel to create resistance, so the rower completely controls the intensity. Rowing slowly yields little resistance, and when youre ready to give the resistance a little bump, just row faster.

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Total Workout Plan For Seniors

The recommended amount of cardiovascular exercise for people over age 65 is 30 minutes per day, five days per week. If you can’t do all 30 minutes at once, break up that 30 minutes into shorter sessions. Even 5- or 10-minute bouts of exercise count.

You should also do strength training exercise two to three days each week. You can do this exercise on the same days you enjoy treadmill walking, or on alternate days. Try a 20-minute strength training workout or a dumbbell strength training workout, both designed for older people.

You should also take 10 minutes extra on each exercise day to stretch your major muscle and tendon groups. If you are at risk for falls, you should include balance exercise three times per week .

Health Benefits Of Walking For Seniors

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Improves Cardiovascular Health

Some of the benefits of walking regularly is it can lower blood pressure and promote weight loss, which reduces strain on the heart and arteries. Additionally, as exercise improves blood flow, it helps lower the risk of clogging in coronary vessels, which can prevent heart attacks, coronary heart disease or a stroke.

Strengthens Muscles

You may not always realize it, but your daily walk works a lot of muscle groups: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, ankles, glutes, lower back and abdominals, and if you add an arm-pumping movement, your upper body benefits as well. Building strength is one of the benefits of walking that can help you stay more independent and prevent falls.

Helps Prevent Osteoporosis

Weight-bearing exercises like walking put pressure on your bones. Bones grow denser with exercise in the same way muscles grow stronger from working against resistance. Even if youre already seeing effects from osteoporosis, walking can help maintain the bone mass you have.

Lowers Pain Levels

As walking builds muscles and promotes flexibility, many seniors find it beneficial in controlling chronic pain. The endorphins your body produces during exercise can decrease the perception of pain because they bind to the same neurotransmitters that common pain medications bind to. Many seniors also find the weight loss that often accompanies a new walking routine decreases stress on their joints, leading to less daily pain.

Improves Mental Health

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Strength And Power Training

What it is: Strength training builds up muscle with repetitive motion using weight or external resistance from machines, free weights, elastic bands, or your own body weight. Power training is often strength training done at a faster speed to increase power and reaction times.

Why it’s good for you: Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle, and improves balanceimportant for staying active and avoiding falls. Power training can improve your speed while crossing the street, for example, or prevent falls by enabling you to react quickly if you start to trip or lose balance. Building strength and power will help you stay independent and make day-to-day activities such as opening a jar, getting in and out of a car, and lifting objects easier.

Choose Your Walking Surface Wisely

When walking outdoors, choose your walking path and walking surfaces carefully. Try to find flat, even walking surfaces free from obstacles like tree roots and uneven pavement. You will want to avoid places where there isnt much sidewalk because rough, gravelly terrain can increase your chances of falling.

When starting a walking routine, it helps to walk routes that youre familiar with. Youll know which areas might be danger spots or hilly areas you may want to avoid.

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Why Exercise Matters For Seniors

Exercise is important for older adults because being physically active makes it easier to perform activities of daily living , including eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair and moving around the house or a neighborhood, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . Physically active older adults are also less likely to fall, which can lead to serious injuries.

Exercise improves muscle strength and bone density as well, which is especially important for women since they lose bone density at a faster rate after menopause than men. Meanwhile, the benefits of exercise for the heart and lungs help promote overall health and offset some risks for chronic illnesses and disease.

Is Walking Good For Seniors

15 minute Walking Workout for Seniors, Beginners

When it comes to exercise, especially when its all new, it can be met with some trepidation.

Am I going to be doing my body damage? Will walking wear out my joints? Will it make my arthritis worse? Will it cause me pain? Isnt it better to rest?

These are some of the common thoughts that may arise for some people when thinking about walking more.

Yes! There are times that walking may aggravate symptoms. For example, knee pain . Or, weakness in other areas of the body, causing pain.

And there are times when you do need to rest!

However, you are born to move! The more movement you do, the better!


Not doing exercise in some way is never the answer, even with arthritis.

There are ways to make walking comfortable and to decrease or prevent pain when doing it. At the end of this article, I will cover tips for walking for those who get knee pain.

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Walking Can Reduce Your Risk Of Death

Even relatively small amounts of walking can have dramatic health effects. Recent studies followed women with an average age of 72 to the effect of increased walking on life expectancy. Women who walked just 4,400 steps per day had a 41% decreased risk of death compared to women who walked only 2,700 steps per day.

1,700 steps per dayworks out to less than a mile, and even at a relatively slow pace of 2.5 mph you can reach those 1,700 steps in 20-30 minutes.

Avoid Inactivity Over Age 65

If you have limitations that don’t allow you to meet the guidelines, the most important thing is to be active in some way each day. Any amount of exercise is better than none, so getting started is the key. You need to avoid inactivity.

Older adults need just as much exercise as those under age 65, plus the addition of flexibility and balance exercise.

While you may decide to enjoy moderate-intensity rather vigorous-intensity exercise, you still need endurance activity. Endurance exercises help to improve the health of your vital organs like the heart and lungs as well impact your circulatory system. Additionally, these exercises can delay or prevent many chronic conditions that are common in more mature adults like diabetes, heart disease, and others.

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You’re Not Doing Proper Exercises And Stretching

As Powell mentioned, your body will start to walk differently due to physiological changes resulting from aging. There are exercises you can do to help offset these changes that will make you a better and more efficient walker.

According to a study published in the journalCurrent Translational Geriatrics and Experimental Gerontology Reports, there are “impairment-based interventions” that are scientifically proven to help older people walk better. They include resistance exercises, which include repeated chair stands increased stretching of the dorsi-flexors for better range of motion aerobic conditioning exercises, such as riding on a stationary bike and “progressive ambulation training.” For the latter, the study recommends “repeated practice of push-offs or weight-shifting of the center of mass.”

According to Lisa Herrington, an ASCM certified trainer and founder of FIT House Davis, everyone who walks for exercise should stretch their quads, warm up their backs, perform hip stretches, loosen their hamstrings, and stretch out their feet. This is doubly true for older people, she says. And for some workouts you can try, don’t miss The Walking Workouts That Will Help You Get Lean, Says Top Trainer.

Benefits Of Walking For Older Adults

Walking a perfect exercise for elderly

Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. Going to a gym to work out for hours a day may be the answer for some people, but it isn’t practical for most. Health care professionals often advise their older adults to be more careful due to their age, but maintaining an active lifestyle makes for a strong and sturdy body, no matter how many birthdays you’ve celebrated. Some of the chief benefits of walking every day for older adults are as follows.

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