Get Moving, Grandma

~ by Ellis Greaty

If you are a senior:

Exercise is good for you.

Aerobic exercise is very good for you.

Strength training is good for you.

And now… walking is good for you too.

OK, most of us have always suspected – even known, perhaps – that walking doesn’t hurt and probably helps. But now there is scientific evidence supporting this belief, and the numbers are telling.

The University of Georgia rounded up 26 geriatric study subjects all over the age of 60 and predominantly female. Half the group went walking 3 times a week, initially for 10 minutes, but building up to 40. The other half watched videos on nutrition. Before the study, the participants were evaluated on fitness and physical ability. At the end of the study, they were again evaluated. The difference was telling.

For those who went walking, physical function increased 25%. For those who watched videos, it decreased 8.3%. Disability risk decreased 41% in the walking group. Aerobic capacity increased 19%, while it declined 9% in the control group.

Not all of the benefits were physical. The walking group became a tight group of friends, really enjoying their walks together. Quality of life was greatly increased. So seniors should definitely get out there and walk – with a friend.

25. July 2008 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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