Recommended Reading
Fall icon Fall Alarms for the Elderly

An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.

Recommended Product
Products 2up Square Trans 1 SureSafeGO
Your Alarm. Your Way. Be safe anywhere. Available in watch or pendant format with 24/7 or family monitoring. Plus fall detection & GPS tracker.

Walk This Way: The Benefits of Walking for the Elderly

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms
Quick Links Navigate to the section you want to read quickly by clicking on the quick links below:

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a medicine for the elderly that was effective against numerous health conditions and effects of ageing – as well as being completely free?

Well, there is. It’s walking.

In fact, you might be very surprised to hear just how many health benefits elderly people can get from a simple walk.

Keep reading if you’d like to know what walking can do for you, or how you can get started with walking.

How much walking should a senior do?

Before we start preaching about the benefits of walking, let’s outline what we mean when we say “walking.”

For seniors, it’s important to avoid both getting too little exercise and undertaking overly strenuous exercise that could cause stress on the body. So, how much walking should you aim for?

If you’re not sure how much walking is right for you, it’s best to talk to your GP. However, the NHS physical activity guidelines recommend in general that people aged 65 and older should moderate exercise such as walking for at least 150 minutes each week. (There’s also an option for taking harder exercise for a shorter time, but walking is defined as moderate exercise.)

150 minutes a week boils down to just over 20 minutes each day.

Physical benefits of walking

There are many perks that come from routinely taking walks. Here are just a few of them.

Reducing blood pressure – and risks of stroke and heart attack

Blood pressure is a serious concern for the elderly – but it’s often one that’s tricky to tackle.

Fortunately, walking can help. The moderate physical activity of walking combines with its mental health benefits to make a real difference in lowering blood pressure. In turn, lowering blood pressure decreases the risk of life-threatening health crises like heart attacks and strokes.

Helping elderly people to remain mobile

In 2020, a long-term study of over 1,600 seniors found that 150 minutes of walking per week, combined with some light resistance training and stretching, significantly helped seniors to remain mobile and able to walk around. That means walking could make a huge difference in helping older people to retain their independence.

Lowering weight for those who need it

It’s well known that being overweight can increase an older person’s risk of a vast range of medical conditions. Taking up walking can help seniors shed pounds if that’s needed. In this case, changing life habits to promote walking in small ways can also make a huge difference. For example, if an older person is able to walk to a shop half a mile away rather than drive, it might be a good idea to do that.

Lowering risks of osteoporosis

The NHS guidance on preventing osteoporosis mentions that weight-bearing exercise can help to prevent osteoporosis. Fortunately, brisk walking counts as weight-bearing exercise for over-60s.

Helping to prevent falls

Falls in the elderly can happen for many reasons, including a loss of strength and balance related to inactivity in ageing. Fortunately, as the NHS resource on fall prevention states, physical activity like walking can help decrease the risk of falls.

Mental benefits

Of course, walking is a physical activity. But it actually has crucial mental benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.

Reducing risks of dementia

It’s been suggested by some that walking can help to lower the risk of dementia. For example, a seven-year-long study found that 3,800 steps a day, which is about 40 minutes of walking, reduced a senior’s chances of getting dementia by a quarter. Remember that a count of steps per day counts all walking, including very short walks from one room to another, so you wouldn’t typically need to walk for 40 minutes straight to get your 3,800 steps in.

Improving mental health

People who work with the elderly know how crucial mental health is for the elderly. When there is a mental health decline, physical health effects are likely to follow.

But walking is known to have power in helping to combat mental health troubles such as stress and anxiety.

How to get started walking

If you’re not used to walking, it can be hard to begin.

One option is to fit in small bouts of walking in between other activities. For example, if you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or for something to finish heating in the microwave, you can take a quick walk around your home.

Another option is finding walking groups for the elderly. These groups simply offer a way for people to get together and walk in one another’s company. While some groups focus on tougher walks, others provide light or short walks for those who cannot endure longer walks. Either way, walking in a group can be reassuring for seniors who are worried about what might happen if they fall or become ill during a walk on their own.

One significant group of this kind is the Ramblers. They offer walking groups for people who are over 50 to walk together. You can use their online tool to find a Ramblers group near you.

You can also look for a walking group via the British Heart Foundation or Age UK.

Peace of mind for seniors who like to walk

As we’ve mentioned, one of the deterrents to walking can be the fear of something going wrong. An older person might avoid walking because they don’t want to fall. They might also avoid walking for fear of having a medical crisis like a heart attack while alone or away from home.

A personal alarm for the elderly can provide great peace of mind to seniors who are walking alone. When an older person chooses an alarm with fall detection functionality, they can feel more confident that if they fall, help will be called right away. Even if an older person wearing an alarm is unconscious, a fall detection alarm will still call for help, with no input from the wearer needed.

Likewise, one-touch buttons could provide reassurance to seniors who are worried about some other kind of crisis occurring while they’re out on a walk alone. With a one-touch button, there’s no need to dig in a handbag for a mobile phone or to dial a phone when feeling unwell. You simply press and hold a button on the alarm to call for help.

When you’re looking for a personal alarm, a great place to start is SureSafe, a leader in the UK personal alarms market with 5.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. And if you’re curious to know about the other functionalities available with our alarms, just call us on 0808 189 1671 to talk all about what alarm would suit you. You can also get in touch via our live chat or request a call back.

Sure Safe Woman with Baby and Daughter Illustration Footer Left Sure Safe Man on Bicycle Illustration Footer Right

Not sure which personal alarm is right for you?

Talk to a friendly UK based advisor to help you make the right choice.

Request a Call
We're always here to help

SureSafe is the leading provider of personal alarms within the UK.

Call us on 0800 061 4501
Email us Send a message