Written by Wendy Girard
Being a senior does not mean being doomed to inactivity. Many seniors have enjoyed active lifestyles over the years, and as they age a good number continue to play sports such as golf, pickleball and tennis. Residents of the Coachella Valley are fortunate to live in an area where swimming pools and hiking trails are plentiful as well. But sometimes the most pleasant way to exercise is an old-fashioned walk around the neighborhood.
People lose about four percent of their muscle mass every year after the age of 35, so it is particularly important to keep moving as we age. Lost muscle mass also affects balance, which is one of the reasons that falling is such a concern for people over 65. Walking helps us to stay energetic, independent and healthy. It maintains cardiovascular health and is good for both mind and mood. Walking protects the joints, especially in the knees and hips, and reduces arthritis-related pain. Studies have shown that walking even boosts immune function. Plus it helps to keep our weight under control, a bonus for most.
Even those who have not exercised previously can start walking at a later age. During the pandemic seniors were often limited in leaving their homes, but now we can all move about once again!
Don’t just move more, but socialize more. Walk with a friend and achieve both. Enjoy our gorgeous upcoming weather, marvel at spectacular gardens and shrubbery, explore sites that you have not previously visited. Both your body and your mind will benefit.