Did you know walking is the top recreational sport for seniors? by Tina Y. Gerber
Regular exercise is a vital part of healthy aging, and walking is the top recreational sport for seniors! Did you know seniors who tend to walk look younger, they sleep better, which in turn helps improve their overall health. Often, we overlook walking as a form of exercise, because it’s something we do everyday. How much walking will depend on your age and fitness level. But, before you start any program, especially if you have an existing medical condition or have been inactive for a long period of time, contact your family doctor. Many seniors are afraid to start a walking program, (that’s me) because there may be risk of an injury, but many believe the benefits of exercise outweigh the risk of injury. I read that more than half of our muscles are designed for walking! Walking is an inexpensive form of exercise, it’s safe and easy. Studies indicate that regular exercise not only increases bone strength, but improves conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, it controls weight gain, and keeps diabetes in check! Active seniors are then better able to take care of themselves, and remain mentally sharp. Good health is something we usually take for granted. God designed our body as a finely tuned instrument. The human body can endure fractures, adhesions and constant pain but is often misused. The Bible is, God’s Word, and He reveals many basic principles for good physical, mental and spiritual health. (Proverbs 3:1-2, 8). He (God) still likes to walk with us today, and will open scriptures to us through the spirit of wisdom, and revelation. Take the initiate and create a step by step plan to increase your stamina, strength and stability, and trust in God to direct your steps! Another important way to stay healthy overall, as the years go by, is to pay attention to you. Respect yourself enough to take care of your physical needs, and if something needs fixing, fix it, and not just your your body, feed your mind as well. When walking, choose a familiar route: a route free of debris puts less strain on your joints and feet. A well lit place, decreases the chance of tripping, falling or twisting an ankle. I am still recovering from my knee injury, and with any uneven ground I easily find myself limping and starting back at square one! Remember to wear proper footwear, because the right shoe needs to be supportive and bend only at the toes.
Your shoe should also be stable from side to side, with ample wiggle room for your toes, but, be snug enough to keep the heel from slipping. Feet do change over time, most feet lengthen and widen over the years! I hate to admit my former shoe size was 7, but 8 feels so much better since I had broken my big toe! If your are using a cane or walker ensure it is fit for you. Warm up before the walk. Gentle stretching before and after walking can improve circulation and prevent injury. I was surprised to find out they suggest to avoid cotton socks. Synthetic socks or wool socks will help wick moisture away from your feet and will prevent excess blisters. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather, walk with a friend, carry a cell phone, and if you experience any pain, stop walking and rest. Happy Trails.