Walking: Tips for Seniors
By Sara Butler
If you’re a senior, then taking up walking is a way you can improve your health and wellness. It helps to keep your bones strong, strengthens your muscles, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and even helps improve your coordination and balance. Before you embark on a walking program, it’s important to consider a few things to make your walking workout enjoyable and safe.
Treat Your Body Right
Walking may be a low-impact form of exercise, but it’s important to care for your body to avoid injury. That means that before you take off on your walk, you should do some light warm-up exercises to increase circulation and get your muscles ready. After your walk, take the time to cool down as well. This will help to reduce soreness as well as aches and pains that can be associated with physical activity.
Check the Weather
Hot weather in the summer, raining with cool temperatures in the fall and spring, and blustery and cold winter days can make walking outside a challenge. They can also make for dangerous situations that put your health and wellness at risk if you’re not prepared for them. Make sure to check the weather report before you head out and dress appropriately. Also, make sure to wear sunscreen no matter what time of year it is.
It’s also important to recognize when the weather situation outside doesn’t warrant a walking workout. Look out for slippery sidewalks and extreme temperatures. On those days, you should consider walking indoors or hopping on a treadmill to get your walking workout in. If possible, replace your walk with a swim or a bike ride.
Watch What You Walk On
As you get older, walking on hard surfaces such as a road or sidewalk can be harder on your muscles and joints, especially if you have problems with your feet, ankles, knees, or hips. Opt for softer walking surfaces when possible, such as grass or dirt trails. Treadmills are also a great option since they’re a controlled and safe surface.
Listen to Your Body
If your hip hurts, your knees or sore, or your lower back just doesn’t feel great, respect what your body is trying to tell you. You must pay attention to how your body is feeling so you don’t push it too far. It’s OK to take a break once in a while to give your body time to recover between workouts.
Walking is the perfect workout for seniors as long as you do it safely!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Mill, S.C.