Community corner: Making ‘pace’ with growing old

By Brian Penny, Senior Outreach Coordinator

Exercise is an essential part of healthy living! It gets even more critical as we get older, since it helps prevent age-related health problems that could potentially lead to disability or mortality. Improving your health does NOT require a gym membership or high-intensity workout. In fact, low-impact workouts are better for older individuals because they place less strain on joints and reduce damage while still giving numerous benefits to the mind and body. The best way to help improve and maintain your health is by walking. Have you ever imagined that a simple walk could be the perfect form of exercise? Walking is one of the simplest yet most effective and efficient types of exercise available. It’s an ideal way to be active at your speed, regardless of your degree of mobility.

The health benefits of walking are numerous! As long as you get started and stay motivated, walking will provide several positive results that can help boost your quality of life. It is considered to be one of the best, yet underrated forms of exercise – especially for older adults. As we grow older, we become less mobile, our balance starts to decline and painful conditions like arthritis can make it harder to stay active. Surprisingly, walking also reduces joint inflammation by promoting the circulation of synovial fluid in your joints and strengthens the legs thus relieving lower back pain and arthritis. Walking will also help build endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.

There are many more benefits of walking for older adults! As well as keeping the heart healthy, it supports positive mental health, weight loss, improved energy, sleep, and circulation. Walking also helps to lower the risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. NEED I SAY MORE?!

As we age, our body experiences sarcopenia, otherwise known as age-related muscle loss. Over time, this natural muscle loss increases weakness and frailty while decreasing mobility. You can combat this process through safe and simple exercises like walking. Daily walking increases muscle tone and your range of motion, which enhances mobility.

The good news is that it’s not too late! Regardless of your age, you can begin a walking routine on your own or with a group and South County Community Services would like to help. We will be hosting an on-going Tuesday morning Senior Walking Club every Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m., beginning June 13 at the Vicksburg Trailway. “Let’s get moving… towards better health!”

For more information on joining the Senior Walking Club or any of South County’s Senior Programs call Brian Penny at (269) 649-2901 or email

Be sure to check out South County Community Services’ other senior health and wellness programs!

  • Matter of Balance Classes
  • SAFE at HOME
  • Foot Clinic
  • Food Assistance
  • Transportation

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