by Successful Aging in Action! | 5.13.19
Use It or Lose It - Walk Every Day!
By Dr. David Gobble
You began life struggling to move on your own, learning to walk as you established your independence. Walking continues as the foundation for your independence, but as you age, maintaining your normal walking cannot be taken for granted. The old saying, “use it or lose it,” is very true for your ability to walk. To walk well, you need to keep walking every day. So, if you are currently walking well, keep doing it, and if you want to do more of it, there are some simple things to know to aid you on your walk toward successful aging.
First, as with all exercise recommendations, make sure your health care provider(s) have approved your exercise routine. Next, a good pair of walking/exercise shoes will make the journey more comfortable. Most shoe brands offer a basic walking shoe, and unless you are really walking long distance (4 or more miles), you will be fine with almost any selection. If you have special foot problems, a Podiatrist or other medical provider may offer suggestions for your foot wear choice. After acquiring proper footwear, you are ready to move forward toward successful aging by walking every day.
The hardest part of walking for successful aging is establishing a routine so it becomes natural for you to do every day. Here are some tips on how to make it part of your daily routine:
· Walk with a partner
· Walk at a particular time each day
· Walk to see something
· Walk with a pet
· Join a walking group
· Enter a walking contest or event
Your goal for walking should be to either maintain or increase your walking to between 30 – 60 minutes per day. If you need to increase your walking time, add 5 minutes per day per week until you reach the minimum of 30 minutes per day.
Making walking a part of your successful aging journey will improve the quality of your life, and probably extend your life. It will certainly prolong your independence.
Published in the May/June 2009 Masterpiece Living Mosaic
Written by Successful Aging in Action!
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