Why Start a Walking Club for Older Adults?
Walking is a wonderful way for older adults to be physically active! It’s easy, it’s free, it’s relatively risk-free, and it doesn’t require costly equipment, a gym membership, or training. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people than ever are walking for physical activity. Walking is the most popular aerobic activity.
Walking is great exercise and when done briskly over time, it can build endurance—helping older adults walk farther, faster, or uphill. It also may make everyday activities such as gardening, shopping, or playing a sport easier. The goal is to achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance activity on most, if not all, days of the week.
Benefits of Walking Clubs
By starting a walking club, you are offering numerous benefits to older adults.
- Health Benefits! When done regularly, walking at a brisk pace may offer these benefits:
- lower the risk of high blood pressure
- strengthen bones and muscles
- burn more calories
- lift moods
- Accountability! Membership in a walking club may motivate older adults to stick with this form of exercise because they know others are counting on their participation.
- Social connections! The social connections made in walking clubs can also offer older people a sense of wellbeing, emotional mental health, and a way to avoid a decline in overall health that can come with loneliness and depression (PDF, 2.6MB).
- Safety in numbers! A walking club may also provide a way to be active for older adults who are reluctant to walk alone.