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Here I’m going to write about the numerous benefits of walking for older people. But before you begin, talk to your GP about the level of exercise that’s right for you. This is especially important if you haven’t exercised for a while, or you want to try something strenuous. You may want to ask questions such as: Can I exercise safely if I have high blood pressure, diabetes or cardiovascular disease? OR, how can I manage other ongoing health conditions such as arthritis? Coincidentally, you may find after walking and exercising for a few months that your health condition improves so much that you can safely decrease or even cease taking any medications. Consult your doctor. It’s not well known that some medications are worse than the medical condition itself. Your doctor won’t disclose this.

Some of the many health benefits of walking include: Walking can strengthen your muscles, help keep your weight steady, lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, colon cancer and diabetes. Strengthen your bones, and prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (regular walking could halve the number of people over 45 who fracture their hip).

Walking with a friend has many benefits. It makes exercise more fun, it helps you make new friends, and build up friendships you already have. It is harder to cancel a walk when you know you have a friend waiting for you and you’ll probably walk further and meet more often with a friend. Walking with a friend is safer.

Physical activity is essential to healthy aging. As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can prevent or delay many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.

Adults aged 65 and older need at least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking, or as brisk as you can. Or you need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running. If you can’t manage that intensity, try walking up a couple of hills to increase your heart rate. Just be as physically active as your abilities allow. Also try and fit in at least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.

Exercise and diet have shown to be the best deterrent to ward off the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive impairment.