Walking exercises for seniors
With age, the body needs a more moderate but regular exercise routine. This aids in maintaining a healthy body weight, firms the muscles, strengthens bones and increases energy levels. Exercising also helps the heart function better, gets rid of cholesterol and it’s also an excellent pastime activity for seniors who in most cases do not have a lot on their hands.
As the body gets used to the exercise routine, soreness and muscle pains resulting from old age are minimized. Walking exercises for seniors are an excellent option. It is easy to do them, and most seniors love walking. Those who have been sedentary for long, have ailments, aches and suffer from back pains, should consult their doctor first. In fact, everyone above the age of 70 should ask their doctor before they start a new workout routine.
The doctor will advise you on the intensity and activities to avoid. Here are some ways that will make your walking exercises more meaningful.
Incorporate a Pedometer
You should measure the level of activity you involve in every day. A pedometer tracks all activities you engage in the whole day. You will be able to tell how much walking you have done and with the device, every step counts. Whether you are taking a few steps to the bathroom or kitchen, it will record. By the end of the day, you will be able to tell how many steps you have taken which can, later on, be translated to distance.
Rather than just walking, you can use poles as well. This is one of the walking exercises for seniors that can increase the cardiovascular activity by up to 20% and burn 48% more fat than everyday walking.
Pole walking puts less pressure on the foot meaning that your steps are less forceful. You are less likely to strain the ankles causing injuries when pole walking. It is an excellent activity for those who have body pains such as back, ankles, hip and knee pain. Pole walking involves more muscles, up to 50% more. It also helps align the back, specifically the spine as it gives you a straighter gait. Poles also give you balance meaning that you are less likely to fall or lose balance when exercising.
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Walking with Weights
Adding weights to your regular walking routine can increase the overall outcome. You can add wrist or ankle weights. The weights should not be too heavy such that you find it hard to walk. Also, heavy loads can cause injuries to the ankles, knees and the shoulders. Do not add more than 2 pounds of weight on any of the hands or ankles. Start with very minimal weight and add more as you feel comfortable. If the combined weight causes aches, discontinue. You can also consult your doctor before commencing with weight walking exercises.
Walking at Home
You do not have to step out to exercise. Instead of sitting down all the time, you can practice walking around different rooms in the house. These are excellent walking exercises for elderly when the weather is too harsh out there. Record your activity to track how much you have done. You can also walk on the same spot, tiptoe, backwards and sideways.
Walking Out of the House
Other than enjoying the surroundings, the exercises will help keep you fit. You can choose a time of the day you are most comfortable walking and decide to do a few miles regularly. Join a local walking program or walk with a friend. Chances are you’ll stick with a walking program if you have someone to walk with. Some shopping malls or town parks near you may have these programs.
Walking exercises for elderly are the simplest exercises to carry out. They are also safe and enjoyable. They can also be done in groups with loved ones and friends.
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