Healthy Walking at Any Age

Walking is a lifetime exercise “walks and be healthy and physically fit”. Walking is a good exercise for people of any age, fitness level, body build, energy level, etc. Walking reduces the risk of many diseases and helps to control existing conditions. Walking can improve thinking ability in older adults and the ability to engage in activities needed for daily living. Walking helps improve cardio respiratory conditioning, muscular fitness, bone health and contributes to a favorable body composition for children and adolescents.

Walking is the safest start towards exercise routine. Particularly for obese people walking is the most recommended start. To start with always stick to a comfortable speed in which you do not gasp for breath. One should never start to jog immediately take time and seek appropriate medical advice before jogging.

Walking on hills is good. The uphill provides cardiovascular benefits and the downhill is known for reducing the blood sugar levels. Walking on hills may not be possible for all of us due to the location constraints. This can be achieved by using some specifically made Treadmills which allow simulating the required inclination.

Spending a little time each day in some type of physical activity has the benefits of:

·Longer, healthier life

·Stronger bones

·Reduced joint and muscle pain

·Improved mobility and balance

·Lower risk of falls and serious injuries like hip fractures

·Slower loss of muscle mass

Walking is one of the best ways for people of any age to become and stay fit. Participating in a Walking Program can make major strides toward preventing diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Walking can be very beneficial for any age. Walking strengthens your muscles, gives you stamina, increases your endorphins so that you feel good, and is a wonderful way to meet new neighbors.

You should seek medical advice before starting any fitness program if any of the following apply to you:

·You have led a sedentary lifestyle for a year or more

·You do not currently do any type of exercise and are age 65 or older.

·You have had any heart related diagnosis

·You have high blood pressure

·You have diabetes

·You have ever felt chest pain, especially when exerting yourself

·You have felt faint, or dizzy

·You have any medical conditions for which you seek medical attention or take medications for.

To derive the most benefits of walking, it is recommended to walk as briskly as you can. When you walk briskly, your heart will work harder than when strolling or at rest, however without beating uncomfortably fast, and your breath will also be deeper, but with conversation being possible. However, if you have not exercised in a long while, it is best to begin slowly, building up your ability to walk briskly gradually.

Walking Benefits includes:

  • Increasing Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Fitness: Walking increases the capacity of the lungs and heart to supply oxygenated blood to the muscles as well as enhances the ability of the muscles to use the oxygen to create energy for physical activity. This also helps to reduce high blood pressure.
  • Increases Bone Density: Since it is a weight bearing exercise, walking helps to increase the strength and density of bones, especially of the lower back and hips. This prevents osteoporosis, and also reduces the chances of suffering from hip fractures, as one grows older.
  • Weight Control: Body weight can be kept in control when one expends calories via physical exercise like walking. The best way to keep one’s weight in check is to maximize the amount of calories expended along with eating healthy and nutritious food.
  • Burn Fat: Another way walking helps to keep weight under control is by burning fat. Those who are obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle can increase their fitness levels by taking up walking, since this the best form of exercise to start with. Walking helps in working out at a steady pace for an extended period of time, which is the most effective way to burn fat.
  • Reduces Depression: Research has proven that walking improves one’s sense of self worth and mood, and reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression. When done in pleasant environs along with friends, it can be a way of being in contact socially and be a therapeutic form of relaxation. This also helps in sleeping better, which also helps in keeping the mood on even keel.
  • Keeps your Brain Young: Apart from a healthy body, walking can also keep your brain functioning at its optimum best, reducing the chances of aging related mental deterioration. It enables this by reducing the chances of diseases like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, which can affect the flow of blood to the brain, and also because it increases the flow of blood to the brain while reducing the blood pressure. Also, walking with friends and enjoying nature’s soothing effects also help to keep the brain stimulated and young.

How to Walk

To get the heart and the health benefits from walking experts recommended people should walk at least 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week.

When walking one should be able to maintain a conversation as you walk. Increase your pace if you are breathing too easily. Slow down your pace if you are out of breath.

Tips to get people walking and keep people walking includes

* Walk during your breaks or after lunch.

* Walking up stairs or hills is a great way to strengthen the heart.

* Take a brisk walk after dinner.

* Walk in place while you are watching television.

* Take a friend along.

* Get the family involved.