Many adults avoid exercising altogether because they are afraid of injuring themselves or feel “too old” to try. Walking is the best way to ease individuals back into a healthy lifestyle. No matter what age you are, increasing the amount of walking you do each week can provide you with a more positive mental health outlook.
Living a Longer Life
According to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine titled “Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women,” walking just an additional 4,400 steps every day has been proven to help you live a longer life.
The study also showed that there is no need to spend all day walking as you just need to get between 4,000-5,000 steps a day to reap the benefits of the activity. You do not need to do everything at once for an improved overall result. Instead of aiming for 10,000 steps and wearing yourself out, just start with a few steps each day.
Depression can make it a struggle to get up from where you are sitting or lying down. Ironically, allowing yourself to move can actually stave off depression.
One study published by JAMA Psychiatry titled “Assessment of Bidirectional Relationships Between Physical Activity and Depression Among Adults” found that exercising has a protective effect on the brain against depression. Sage Journal’s article “A Study of Leisure Walking Intensity Levels on Mental Health and Health Perception of Older Adults” states that 5,000 adults aged 65 or older felt like walking improved their overall mental health.
Sharper Brain Function
When you are past the age of 60, it is essential to keep your mind healthy. Walking not only keeps you active but can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. One study found walking can increase the size of the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory formation. Because loneliness can decrease cognitive functioning, walking with a friend can build beneficial social connections as well.
Maintaining the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems is critical to longevity. Walking is good protection for the heart and lungs. Walking can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease and manage diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure.
When we get older, we tend to give up on our physical and mental health. We need to get that energy and control back by going on a nice walk every day. Not only will you be physically fit, but you will have a more positive outlook on life. At Alta Loma, we understand the importance of keeping your mind healthy, and we are here to help you. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can provide you with individualized therapy, therapeutic recreational activities, strategies for healthy living, and much more. Call us at (866) 457-3843 for more information about our services.