To Age Well, Make Time for a Good Walk

Long walks are the perfect occasion for a good yarn with our friends, and a flowing conversation can be effortless when the body is moving.

These days, many seniors live sedentary lifestyles that can be detrimental to overall health and wellbeing. Whether living in senior citizen homes or family environments, exercise should be an essential part of every person’s day!

Here, we discuss the real benefits of walking and the positive effects it has on our overall health and mental wellbeing.

1. Walking is an outlet for stress

When stress builds up in the body, we can end up feeling stuck and not know how to manage it effectively. If left unattended, stress can also have a lasting impact on our overall health and wellbeing. Short walks and exercise can be an effective outlet for stress, and allow us to change our perspective, and release tension in the body.

2. Make time to process your thoughts

The repetitive, relatively low-effort motion of walking can give our thoughts time to mull, without feeling confined to the moodiest recesses of our mind.

Going for walks in nature or walking with friends are both excellent options to help us process our thoughts—which can be a messy business sometimes. Through silent walks and meditation by ourselves, our thoughts have the freedom to drift. This can allow us to objectively observe our thoughts and let them happen without judgment. If we do this, we can use this opportunity to better understand ourselves and come to peace with our thoughts and emotions.

Going for a walk with a companion and talking with friends or someone you trust is an equally beneficial way to gain mental clarity. When we talk to someone we trust, we can voice our thoughts more freely, and get them out of our head—where they have been brooding and wreaking havoc. Suddenly, our worries don’t seem so insurmountable, as they did before.

3. Walking is a great way to socialise

Talking to others also has the added benefit of helping us feel connected to others, supported, and heard. Going for a stroll and having a good, heartfelt conversation or unadulterated gossip session with friends can be the best remedy for loneliness or worrying.

Joking and laughing about our worries can alleviate stressful thoughts and reduce their impact on our wellbeing. By the end of a good walk and yarn, we may have even forgotten why we were so stressed out by them in the first place!

If you can’t be physically there with a friend or family member at the time, remember, talking over the phone while walking is another way for you to be there for each other and feel connected in spirit. Message them or call them up to see when they are available!

4. Keep your muscles healthy

And keep in mind—all this chatting and walking will make you fitter and healthier, too. The older we get, the more we find ourselves sitting. Our muscles need regular stimulation to stay strong. Sitting down all day long can cause glute inactivation and atrophy.

Simply standing won’t fix this problem either, so walking and doing exercises that specifically target and activate those muscles is essential for long-term health and wellbeing.

The heart is also a muscle that needs to be exercised. Walking can help to improve cardiovascular health and lower the risk of specific diseases and health issues cropping up as we age. Regular walking for seniors has been linked to reduced risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stroke, among other things.

5. Boost your immune system

Regular exercise is also great for promoting a healthy immune system and easing bodily discomforts such as arthritic symptoms. Walking can help seniors protect themselves against day-to-day illnesses and reduce the impact of getting sick, both shortening the time they are sick and lowering the level of discomfort felt.

Walk, talk, and live your life to the fullest with Fairview

One of the most rewarding things about living in a retirement village is being surrounded by a supportive, welcoming community of like-minded individuals. For seniors living in Fairview’s retirement village in Auckland, they have the support and the freedom to live their lives to the fullest.
If you’re interested in joining our lovely community or finding out more about assisted living opportunities within the village, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.