To some seniors, the idea of walking as exercise seems much too simple. But believe it or not, exercising can really be that easy! It turns out there are quite a few benefits to taking a brisk walk around your Kansas City neighborhood each day. Here are some examples:
- Improved balance. Walking strengthens the muscles in your lower body, which can help improve your balance and prevent falls.
- Weight loss. A brisk daily walk will burn calories and improve your metabolism, both of which can aid in weight loss. It can also help curb sugar cravings.
- A healthier heart. Walking boosts your heart rate, which is good for cardiovascular health. It can lower your blood pressure and your cholesterol, which will decrease your risk for heart disease.
- Lower blood sugar. Physical activity that raises your heart rate lowers blood sugar by prompting your muscles to use more glucose. It also improves the effectiveness of insulin. Both of these things will reduce your risk for diabetes.
- Less pain. Walking lubricates knee and hip joints, which can reduce arthritis pain. It also can help strengthen your core muscles, which can help relieve back pain.
- A better immune system. Studies show that people who walk daily don’t get sick as often as those who don’t walk. And when they do get sick, they get well faster.
Places to Walk in Kansas City
- Around your neighborhood. If the weather’s nice and you feel safe, walking around your neighborhood is one of the quickest ways to get your daily walk in.
- At a Kansas City Park. If you want a more scenic walk, the Kansas City area has lots of beautiful parks with walking trails.
- At the mall. Lots of people walk at local malls in the mornings before the stores get busy. The mall is a good option during inclement weather.
- At a Kansas City gym. Many local gyms have both indoor and outdoor walking trails. They also have exercise equipment to help build muscles. Some even have swimming pools.
- At home. For the quickest way to get in your walk in all types of weather, invest in a treadmill.
Help Getting Started
If you’re unsteady on your feet, you may need some help getting started. Here are some tips:
- Use a walker or a cane, if needed.
- Start with short walks, then build up to longer walks as your balance and stamina improve.
- Get help from a Kansas City home health agency. A good home health agency can provide ambulation and exercise assistance.