Now that spring is almost here it’s a great time to enjoy one of the best forms of exercise there is for those over 65 – walking.
Walking is more than just an enjoyable activity that gets you outdoors. It helps keep your muscles strong, promotes bone and joint health, and helps keeps the cardiovascular system healthy. No matter what kind of shape you are in, chances are, you can begin a regular walking program. Here’s some tips to help you get started:
- Try to walk for 15 to 30 minutes at least three times per week
- Wear a good athletic sneaker to cushion your feet
- Feel free to start with short walks and add distance as you build stamina
- Don’t be afraid to use an assistive device, such as a cane (or walking stick) if you need one
- Try walking indoors, such as in a mall, on bad weather days to start off your program or as a routine.
Stretching before you start walking can help minimize the chance of injury and also decrease muscle soreness afterwards. You can learn four key stretching exercises here. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor if you have been inactive for a while or suffer from a chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease before you start a walking program. Most doctors agree that the more exercise you get, the healthier you’ll be – so start walking!