Family Health

Get Moving: Benefits of Walking for People of All Ages

Jul 30 • 2015

Exercise is important no matter how old you are. One of the simplest ways to work fitness into your day is walking, and it is a great option for the entire family. Whether you decide to enjoy a walk around the neighborhood, visit a local park, or roam around the zoo, walking can fit into your routine in a variety of ways.

While walking might seem like an average, every day activity, the benefits are numerous. Walking can:

  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood lipid profile
  • Lower the risk of obesity
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Improve mental well-being
  • Reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer
  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

Walking Correctly
Many people don’t realize that there is a right way and a wrong way to fitness walk. Having the correct form maximizes the health benefits and reduces the risk of injury.

Keep your arms bent at 90 degrees. Swing them back and forth from the shoulders – the faster you swing your arms, the faster you will walk. Make sure your spine is straight and that your feet are landing heel first. Then roll your foot and push off with the toes. This should be a smooth motion, not abrupt.

A Family Affair
Because walking is a low-impact fitness option, people of all ages can find it beneficial. Building time to walk into your daily schedule can be a great activity for your family. When the weather is nice, spend 30 minutes taking a stroll around the neighborhood. Not only can this become a bonding activity, but it can also help your entire family stay in shape, improve their mental welfare, and increase their overall health.

Where are some of your favorite places to walk in the Memphis area? Share them in the comments below.