Senior Exercise Tips – Fitness WalkingBy Jill Poser October 18, 2012 | 10:00 AMPosted in: Senior Safety, Home Security Tips
husband, the exercise enthusiast in our family, says so often: walking is good
for you! After all, it’s easy, it’s fun,
and, he reminds me, it’s free! I have no doubt you hear it all the time
too: walking is good for you! When I procrastinate he nudges me, “So what are you
waiting for?” I certainly procrastinate but I know fitness walking is good and
I get on my way. If you are not walking, it’s time to start
your own senior exercise program. Mind
you, fitness walking is not a leisurely stroll. It is brisk walking designed to
strengthen your cardiovascular system, your heart and lungs, or to lose weight.
For this reason, it is also called aerobic walking because aerobic exercise
accelerates your heart rate and targets a major muscle group. You can certainly
on your own but if you need motivation, you can walk with your mate, your
children, friends or even coworkers. Simply set a goal for your
senior exercise program and if it helps, reward yourself when you reach it. You
will look better; you will likely feel better as each step brings you closer to
overall good health and wellness. In
fact, did you know that walking is considered by many to be a near-perfect
When it comes to
exercises for seniors, you may be wondering, how much should you walk? The
answer really depends on your fitness goal. A good goal is to be physically
active and experience the many benefits of an active person, such as a stronger
heart and lungs, toned muscles and maintaining your current weight. Walking thirty minutes a day, most days of
the week is recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention and American College of Sports Medicine. If you can’t
find thirty minutes a day, maybe you can break your walks into ten to fifteen
minutes because any less than that really isn’t effective. Consider walking for ten to fifteen minutes
in the morning, afternoon and evening. Other positive outcomes of fitness
walking are reduced risks of serious disease, faster recovery after injury or
illness and reduced risk of falls because of the maintenance of muscle power,
balance, and coordination.
that comes up when you start a senior exercise program is how quickly are you
expected to walk to ensure your personal safety? After
all, we are not 21 anymore. A recent
study published in the British Medical Journal announced that senior
citizens who walk faster than 3 miles per hour maintain their health
longer. But if you need to walk at a
lesser pace, that is okay. It is most
important to do your personal best and develop a consistent senior exercise regimen.
Before you get started, here are some simple senior exercise tips for safe fitness
· Visit with your doctor and make
certain you have a check-up and a clean bill of health. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your
medications, both prescription and over-the counter, and identify any medicine
or supplement that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or
· Have your eyes checked by an eye
doctor at least once a year. Update your
eyeglasses to maximize your vision if glasses are needed. If you require
glasses for distance, you may want to think about getting a pair with single
vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
· Before starting a senior exercise
program, it is especially important to get adequate calcium and vitamin D,
preferably from food but supplements can do the trick. Incorporate weight
bearing exercise into your regimen where you can. Besides building lean muscle mass,
you will increase your metabolism and likely lose weight. Everyone enjoys that benefit! Last, be certain to be screened,
use your medical alert systems, and if necessary, treated for osteoporosis.
· Remember, the primary goal with any
form of exercise is to be safe. In case
you experience pain or possibly a fall, a physical therapist can be the right
licensed health care professional to help get you back on track. Normally he or
she is trained to examine and evaluate health and medical issues in order to
help people restore and maximize functional mobility and activities.
After all, you want to be safe, not sorry.
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