Is walking a good exercise for seniors?

Is walking a good exercise for seniors?

I am a physical therapist, who has treated many different kinds of patients. All of my patients were interested in being fit, many wanting to learn how to walk again after encountering their medical conditions. For instance, wanting to learn how to walk after a stroke.

Walking is an exercise that gently and effectively forces all our body muscles to work, without stressing them. Not only do our body muscles have to work while walking, but even our heart muscles have to work. In fact, our heart muscles have to work just a little more when we are walking than when we are sitting or standing. Just that little additional exertion on the heart muscle is an excellent exercise will benefit it and help it to stay healthy.

Most of us possess this wonderful ability to walk and often, we barely realize the significance of this wonderful ability only after starting to have difficulties walking or not being able to walk at all.

We basically need to walk to go everywhere. It is only when we start having problems walking that we suddenly realize that the loss of this “simple” ability reduces our everyday capacities by a lot. “How do I go to the restroom?” “How do I keep my house clean?” “How do I take care of my pets?” “How do I go to the doctor?”

The list of questions just goes on and on with the numerous daily tasks we have to complete using our ability to walk.

My personal recommendation to everyone is to try to walk for at least 15 minutes every day and try to increase this routine gradually, to up to 30 minutes daily. You may even walk longer is you wish. Walking is a great way to stay fit and it helps to increase the peace of the mind. Along with walking, try to enjoy the surroundings and beauty of our world while walking.

 Mikosch Baumann, Manager at Home Helping Hands Care

Citation:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/27/to-age-well-walk/ (retrieved April 19, 2015)

http://healthywalker.com/why-walk (retrieved April 19, 2015)