Ways seniors can benefit from walking

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Middle-aged and older adults are among the most physically inactive age groups in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

For many seniors taking part in Bon Secours’ Well Walkers program, a quarter mile walk around the concourse is an easy way to get in some much needed exercise.

“Exercise really is the magic pill for your health and that typically means 20 to 30 minutes, 5 days a week of some activity,” Geriatrician and Family Doctor Sarah Whitehead said. “It requires coordination, memory [and] walking also is great for your heart.”

According to the CDC, exercise can also reduce the risk of falling down and delay the start of mental decline, yet a whopping 39 percent of adults aged 65 or older are inactive.

“Right now during the pandemic, there’s a lot of fear, a lot of struggle to find places to exercise. Luckily, walking is free. Walking is something that everyone can do at least a little bit of, so I always tell people to start small, even walking to the mailbox,” Dr. Whitehead said.

If you’re looking for a way to stay accountable, the Well Walkers program can help, she said, by offering some much needed social time that can ward off depression.

“Exercise has as much benefits as a lot of antidepressants, especially a low dose of antidepressants. walking works just as well.”

The Well Walkers program meets most Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, For more information, click here.

To submit a health topic for our series, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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