Benefits of Exercise and Walking

Why Is Exercise Important?

Exercise and walking are good for just about everyone, including older adults. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active. In fact, studies show that not exercising is detrimental to your health. Loss of independence in old age is more often caused by lack of exercise rather than age. Lack of physical activity can also lead to more Doctors visits, more hospitalisations, and the greater use of medicines.

Walking and exercise can benefit a wide range of areas of your life and help you:

  • Maintain or improve your core and general strength
  • Give you more energy and reduce fatigue
  • Improve your balance lowering the risk of falls
  • Manage and prevent some diseases like arthritis, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis amongst others
  • Improve your sleep pattern
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Help loss weight and/or maintain a healthy weight
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Possibly improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function, such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks or plan an activity
  • Improve your mood and help reduce feelings of depression

Emotional Benefits of Exercise

Research has shown that exercise is not only good for your physical health, but also your emotional and mental health. You can exercise with a friend and get the added benefit of emotional support. Just 15 minutes a day outside can help improve your mental health.

Physical activity can help:

  • Reduce feelings of depression and stress, while improving your mood and overall emotional well-being
  • Increase your energy level
  • Improve sleep
  • Empower you to feel more in control

There are many exercises and activities that you can do to help improve your physical and mental health. But at the end of the day the simplest is just getting outside and taking fresh air. If you can walk or propel your wheelchair then the exercise will also do you good.

It’s not all about structured exercise programmes, though if you can join one of the organised programmes this will also give you the incentive to keep going. What it is really about is taking whatever exercise you can within the constraints of your abilities.

So, just get outside and enjoy the fresh air, but be sure to wrap up warm.

Reference: National Institue of Aging

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