Benefits of walking can be enjoyed by any one in any age. But the benefits of walking are especially far reaching in case of the elderly. The benefits of walking in the advanced years are not only an agile and fitter body physically but also safe guarding against a number of geriatric diseases like high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, Cancer and Alzheimer’s. Other than an increase in the elderly people’s life expectancy, a positive frame of mind and a certain sense of independence are the other related benefits of walking.
Though various exercises are available that can be adopted by the elderly as per their individual energy and fitness level, walking is the best suitable exercise for all types of fitness levels. The benefits of walking
is that it does not put any undue pressure on weight bearing joints and is painless if one walks at a comfortable pace. Walking is a time tested way to make the body physically strong and full of energy. One can start walking initially at a leisurely pace and then increase it to a brisk speed as body ability improves.
So what better time to start walking than now! Walking requires unrestricted and smooth flow of movements, therefore it is important that you wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes to walk. The walking shoes too need attention. They should be strong, fitting well, shock-absorbent, and be able to impart cushioned support to the arch of the foot and the heels.
Experts suggest that one should begin walking with a ten minute walk initially. If at the end of this ten minutes of walking you do not feel exhausted and breathless you can continue to a longer period otherwise discontinue the exercise for the next day.
A daily thirty minutes of walk is the ideal recommended duration. The location of the walk is not important, you can take a walk anywhere, be it a supermarket, park or a corridor. It is important to perform a few stretching exercises of the neck, shoulders, arms, thighs, calves, chest, back and stomach before formally embarking on a walk for the elderly. These stretching exercises will help prevent any harm to the joints and muscles and should be considered as important as the walk itself.
A word of caution here is to refrain from starting on any exercise if you are not in the best of your spirits. Do not undertake the exercise if you are suffering from dizziness, shortness of breath, pain or nausea. It is always recommended to take advise from a physician before beginning any exercise, even simple walking.
As we all are well aware, you cannot expect to see the benefits of walking immediately. One needs to consistently stick to the walking regime to accrue the advantages. One way to make sure that you do not give up on walking is to joint the activity in a group. A group activity will be more fun and enthusiastic than undertaking the walk alone. Taking walking as a group exercise also ensures that you are committed to the exercise and remain motivated.
After a few days of walking you will soon feel your metabolism becoming better and you will be sleeping better than ever. Walking will reduce the body’s fat, decreasing your weight and strengthen and tone your muscles. Apart from these evident physical benefits, walking will also help you manage stress better and improve memory.
So what are you waiting for, start walking today.
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