Walking Reduces Fall Risk, May Shorten Recovery From Physical Disabilities

Active Senior Living
Walking improves balances, strengthens muscles, reduces fall risk, and lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Walking improves balances, strengthens muscles, reduces fall risk, and lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.

It happens in an instant and a life can be changed forever. A fall. For older adults, falls are a top cause of disability. So how do we prevent falls or make them a lot less likely to occur? It can be as easy as adopting a regular routine of walking.

Walking or engaging in some other form of moderate physical activity on a regular basis helps older adults remain mobile longer and may help them recover faster from physical disabilities, according to a study published recently in Annals of Internal Medicine.

In the study, 1,600 sedentary adults ages 70 to 89 were divided into two groups, with one group receiving ongoing health education classes that included upper-body stretching exercises and the other group participating in a structured exercise program several days a week that included walking and some strength, flexibility, and balance training.

Researchers assessed both groups over a period of three-and-a-half years. The new study concludes that people in the exercise group reduced the amount of time spent suffering from major disability by 25 percent, compared with people in the health education group. People in the exercise group also appeared less likely to experience disability in the first place, and more likely to recover if they did.

5 Main Benefits of Walking

Walking is the most popular form of exercise among older adults and it’s a great choice, reports HealthinAging.org. Their website features advice for seniors who are starting an exercise program, as well as the five biggest benefits of walking, which are:

*Strengthen muscles

*Help prevent weight gain

*Lower risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis

*Improve balance

*Lower the likelihood of falling

Always consult your health care provider before starting an exercise program.