Health & Fitness

7 Benefits of Walking for Older Adults

For younger and older people alike, exercise is vital to maintaining sound physical and mental health. However, for many older adults, the type of physical activities they can engage in may be limited, making low-impact exercises more viable than long, intense workouts.

Walking, for instance, is one of the best forms of exercise for an older individual to engage in. It is a simple and easy way to integrate physical activity into a routine, and older adults can benefit from regular walks. 

We’ll consider a few of these benefits below, so keep reading to learn more! 

After reading today’s blog post, feel free to check out this blog article to learn about the benefits of joining a walking club as an older adult. Remember to always speak to a physician before starting any new exercise regime.


     1. It lowers blood sugar.

Older adults who are prediabetic or who have diabetes can significantly benefit from taking a daily walk after one of their main meals. 

Blood sugars are at their highest level 60 to 75 minutes after eating, and engaging in light physical activity like walking can help reduce this spike. 

A walk as short as 15 minutes can help lower an older adult’s blood sugar, and working a walk into their daily routine can help them manage symptoms of diabetes. Further, there’s evidence that a 30-minute walk can help those with type 2 diabetes prevent certain complications. 

     2. It reduces physical pain.

One of the main health benefits of regular walking is reduced aches and pains in the muscles and joints. Walking helps build the strength of our muscles and joints, promoting flexibility and reducing intense muscle pain.

Walking is excellent for older adults who have arthritis or osteoporosis, as this type of movement can help control the pain that these issues cause. This movement reduces joint strain from tension issues like arthritis, reducing discomfort and strengthening muscles. 

     3. It improves mood and mental state.

When we engage in physical activity, we release endorphins into our bodies and brains, which help reduce stress and anxiety and boost overall mood. 

The endorphins in our brains also help us feel more positive about our day-to-day lives, which is particularly beneficial for older adults transitioning to retirement living. 

Moving out of one’s home into a retirement community can be an emotionally charged experience, and maintaining a regular exercise regime, like a daily 15 to 30-minute walk, can help reduce feelings of anxiety as they adjust to their new circumstances. 

Regular exercise, like walking, can help older adults feel better about themselves as they strive to reach their fitness goals, increasing their self-confidence. 

     4. It helps prevent cognitive decline.

As older adults age, it’s common for their cognitive function to decline over the years, which can cause issues with memory and focus. However, studies show that walking regularly can help slow cognitive decline and support older adults remaining sharp as they age.

Walking can not only prevent common issues caused by cognitive decline, but it can even help lower the chance of developing memory loss diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

     5. It promotes a healthy immune system.

Not only is walking beneficial for preventing long-term illnesses, but it can also help prevent regular illnesses like colds and the flu. By walking regularly, older adults will promote an improved immune system, which can reduce how often they get sick.

Studies show that older persons who walk for about 20 minutes per day, at least five days a week, don’t get sick as often as those who don’t exercise regularly. More specifically, they take nearly 43% fewer sick days than those who are less physically active.

    6. It improves the sleep cycle.

Many older adults experience trouble sleeping, whether physical pain preventing them from getting comfortable or insomnia keeping them awake all hours. However, studies have shown that older adults who exercise regularly sleep much better. 

The quality and duration of their sleep cycle will improve, and they will also experience a reduction in symptoms caused by insomnia. 

Also, as previously mentioned, light exercise like walking can help reduce physical pain, allowing older adults to engage in more comfortable sleeping positions. 

     7. It provides an opportunity for socializing.

Lastly, going for walks can be a fantastic way for older adults to increase their socialization. Many find it challenging to exercise alone, but walking is a slow-paced, easygoing activity that older ones can easily participate in with a companion. 

By having a walking partner or joining a walking club, older ones can look forward to socializing while exercising. 

Not only is it a great way to spend time with friends and family, but having a walking partner can also help older adults keep each other accountable for remaining consistent in their exercise regime.

Knowing you’ll have a chance to visit and spend time with your friend or family member, will no doubt make walking regularly more enjoyable, making it much easier to maintain as a consistent part of your routine.

Further still, having a walking partner provides an added level of safety for those venturing away from their community, as they will have someone close by should an emergency involving their health or personal safety occur. 

Final thoughts.

Overall, there are many benefits that older adults can enjoy by making walking a regular part of their daily routine. By having a consistent exercise regime, older adults can experience an improved mood and mental state, stronger muscles and joints, lower blood sugar, and many other health advantages that can vastly improve their day-to-day life.

If you or your loved one has recently transitioned to retirement living, integrating a daily habit like walking can help make the transition much smoother; it can relieve feelings of anxiety and stress about beginning a new chapter in a new place. 



Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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