Life expectancy in Canada is currently projected by Statistics Canada to be an average of 82 years – 80 for males and 84 for females. This is a figure arrived at by using a number of actuarial formulas so it may not mean that an average person will live that long.
However, we know empirically that the proportion of elders in our community is getting larger. The challenge for us seniors, as well as for those interested in our well-being such as family members or governments concerned about rising health costs, is to maintain good health as we age.
With all the information on health care for seniors that we are bombarded with, it is easy to get confused about how to do this. What we need to know is how to get the best possible health benefits with the least possible effort.
Walking is one activity almost anyone can perform right away regardless of their fitness level. Daily brisk walking helps maintain healthy weight, strengthens bones and helps control heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions. Walking also improves mood, balance and coordination.
In other words, walking can help us lead healthier lives without the need for special training, equipment, or added expenses. All we need is the determination to get started and the will to make it part of our daily routine just like eating, sleeping and praying.
Experts say that seniors need 150 minutes of brisk walking per week to obtain the maximum benefits of walking. This translates to 30 minutes per day for 5 days or any combination thereof. For more information on the health benefits of walking and how to get the most out of walking please visit the following websites:
Internationally respected Mayo Clinic:
For 50 plus age group: http://www.50plus-fitness-walking.com/benefits-of-walking.html
For MSC walking program resuming spring 2015: