Aging Well: Walking for Senior Citizens


Long before the introduction of gym memberships, exercise DVDs, and home gym equipment people stayed in shape by walking. In fact, in the early history of our country many people had to walk to get wherever they wanted to go due to a lack of transportation options. Today, walking is an easy exercise that seniors can do practically anywhere. Furthermore, there are several health benefits that can result from this simple form of exercise. The following outlines the many reasons why seniors should take up walking as a convenient yet beneficial form of exercise.

In today’s society, it’s easy for anyone to avoid walking. There are drive-thru windows at many businesses that allow people to avoid walking inside for service. Also, many grocery stores, restaurants, and other businesses provide parking spaces near the entry doors for the convenience of visitors. In short, without being aware of it, seniors can avoid a lot of valuable opportunities to participate in some walking exercise. This often leads to a sedentary lifestyle that can result in health problems. Fortunately, there are ways that seniors can change their habits to enjoy all of the benefits of walking.

One of the greatest benefits of walking is its effect on a senior’s emotional health. Walking can invigorate seniors and keep their minds sharp. A routine of energetic walking can also reduce the chances of developing health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Regular walking also helps a senior to avoid problems with their joints. An adequate walking program generally involves thirty minutes of energetic walking about five days a week. Of course, a senior should always consult with his or her doctor to see if this type of walking program would be a wise idea. The individual’s doctor may even have some other constructive exercise suggestions to offer.

Along with a senior’s physical and emotional health, walking can also help them to stay social. Some seniors enjoy mall-walking with a group a few times a week. Seniors can get to know some other people while staying in shape. Other seniors prefer to join senior centers where there are established walking programs for members. They often take walks where seniors are able to enjoy beautiful, natural surroundings. Making a few new friends in a walking group is a great way for seniors to have some fun and feel better at the same time.

Finally, walking is an inexpensive habit for seniors on a budget. Comfortable clothes and a pair of supportive gym shoes are all that is needed. Once a senior begins to feel the enormous benefits of walking, he or she will not want to miss out on an opportunity to take a few extra steps and feel comfortable.

By:Ed Siceloff

Return to the Walking Canes Articles and Stories