Exercise is important for our overall fitness and well-being as we age. Aging can cause mature women to experience a decrease in muscle tone, flexibility and endurance. Exercise can help address these issues. However, many women don’t exercise because it’s often difficult to go to the gym, or they think the only way to do it effectively is to hire a personal trainer.
But one of the most effective exercises for mature women is something that is often forgotten when it comes to exercises: walking. Walking can be done at any time and it doesn’t require any special training or equipment. In addition, walking has these 5 amazing benefits for post-menopausal women.
Strengthens bones and joints
When women go through menopause, they often lose bone density. This loss of density can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become brittle and fragile. During the middle years of life, joints also suffer. After years of overuse, joints can become worn and painful. Walking increases blood flow to the bones and joints, thereby increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients to these areas. As a result, bone density decreases and joints receive more support.
Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure becomes a problem for many women after menopause. While blood pressure can often be controlled by taking prescription medications, walking has been shown to be an additional way to lower blood pressure. Brisk walking increases blood flow and strengthens the heart, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Makes you happier
One of the most common side effects of menopause in older women is depression and mood swings. This can be the case even if these conditions were not a problem before. Walking seems to help in this area by helping your body release endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that cause a high or mood elevation.
Boosts your energy
As we get older, our energy begins to wane. That easy two-mile jog you used to do every morning before work now takes more and more energy to complete. While you may no longer be able to run, you may be able to take a brisk walk. A vigorous 30-minute walk can give you the energy to get through the rest of the day.
Improves your immune function
Aging and menopause take their toll on our bodies. More specifically, they weaken our immune system. It becomes easier to catch colds, viruses and other diseases because our natural defenses are weakened. Studies have shown that running, in its overall effect, improves our immune function and helps us fight off illness. This is especially important if your ultimate goal is longevity.