If you haven’t already begun a walking program to improve your health, then you are one of a shrinking number of older people being left behind. Walking has become the most popular way for older adults to get the crucial exercise that they need, and here’s why:
- Walking regularly strengthens muscles
- Regular walking helps maintain a healthy weight
- The risks of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis is reduced by walking
- Balance and stability is improved
- With better balance the chances of falling are reduced
If you haven’t exercised in a while, you should begin slowly, perhaps walking for only five minutes. Your goal, which you can build up to over time, should be the recommended 30 minutes of walking per day. Your speed should be as close to 100 steps per minute that you can muster. If this seems daunting, just remember, the most important thing is to just get going!
There are several steps you can take to make walking not just good for you, but fun and comfortable as well.
- Bring along a walking buddy or buddies. Socialize and exercised at the same time!
- Be sure your shoes fit well. All you need is a good pair of sneakers, athletic shoes, or walking shoes. If you have foot issues, you can get orthopedic shoes appropriate for walking. Talk to your doctor about getting the best footwear for your new exercise program.
- If you use a cane or walker, just bring them along. These are the tools you need to help you keep your balance- don’t leave them behind.
- Your goal should be to walk as fast as you can, while still maintaining your ability to talk with a friend.
- And don’t forget to drink, drink, and drink some more!