Benefits of walking daily over 50 – top reasons to get started

Walking is a great way to exercise.  It’s free, doesn’t need any special equipment or clothing, we all know how to do it and it’s easy to fit into your daily life.  Even if you don’t do any other exercise, walking daily will help to keep you fit and healthy. It’s great exercise for women during menopause and beyond, because it’s good for heart health and bone density, helps to relieve stress and anxiety and being low impact is kind to joints. Here are some of the benefits of walking daily explained:

#1 Good for heart health

Our muscles need an increased supply of blood when we do activities like walking that continue for several minutes (aerobic activities).  This means that our hearts have to work harder.  If we exercise regularly, our hearts will become stronger and healthier. Heart disease is a concern for post-menopausal women, as oestrogen has a protective effect on the heart. Doing activities that are good for heart health helps to offset this.

#2 Improves circulation

The increased blood pumped by healthier hearts needs to get to the working muscles.  In order to make this happen, the circulatory system becomes more efficient with regular exercise.

#3 Reduces stress and anxiety

benefits of walking daily

All exercise is good for relieving stress and anxiety and outdoor exercise is especially good. Regular walking can help with the anxiety symptoms experienced in menopause.  Read more about menopause anxiety here.

#4 Strengthens muscles, ligaments and tendons

While it’s not as good as resistance training for strength, regular walking will help to strengthen your leg muscles and attachments. This helps to offset loss of muscle mass due to ageing and protect your joints from injury.

#5 Improves flexibility

Benefits of walking over 50

One of the main things that causes people to become less agile as they age is loss of flexibility.  Muscles shorten and joints become stiff.  Keeping active is the best way to avoid this.  Using muscles through a wide range of movement helps to keep them flexible.  Moving joints keeps them lubricated.

# 6 Helps to maintain bone mineral density

Loss of bone mineral density increases during and after menopause.  This can be a serious problem because it makes the bones fragile and more susceptible to fractures.  Activities in which we use our muscles to support our body weight help to maintain our bone density.

# 7 Can help to improve sleep

Regular exercise, especially outdoors can help to improve sleep problems. Insomnia  can be a problem at any age, but is a common symptom in menopause.  Even if you don’t suffer from insomnia, walking regularly can help to improve your sleep quality.  Read more about insomnia.

Start enjoying the benefits of walking daily

You don’t need much to get started: comfortable shoes and clothes, a water bottle and a walking plan.  Even if you’re just going to increase how much walking you do in your everyday life, it’s better to plan this out.  If you have a clear plan of what you’re going to do, you’ll be more likely to do it – especially if you write it down and keep a log of your walking.

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