Staying Fit When You Are Older
You Don't Have to Take Up Jogging!
When you get older if you don't get out and exercise you will soon find out that it becomes exceedingly more difficult to do so.
If we had all not taken our health for granted when we were young we probably would have eased into being a senior without even noticing.
But many of us soon found out that if you only used to do a bit of activity on the weekend, then it soon became harder to actually do anything that reflected "exercise!"
Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Getting Back in Shape
Slowly Does It
When I was laid off in 2010 from a desk job that wasn't always a sit down job. I would go up and down 2 flights of stairs at least once a day and as many as 8 times. The job also required me to do a fair amount of walking back and forth in the warehouse. So I was actually getting a fair amount of exercise and sometimes I would also walk during lunch time.
To come back home and sit in front of a computer was not going to cut it and I knew I had to get out and start walking. Hubby had retired a few years earlier and was sitting in front of the computer too much of the time. So there had to be a change.
I could have made it up the big steep hill that we used to climb back around 1990 but had not done it since that time period. Only knew that because of the ease it was for me to go up and down the stairs at work. Took a half hour to get to the top of the hill and we made a complete circle which was about 4 miles in 70 minutes.
But unfortunately my husband had spent too many sedentary hours in front of the screen and had even difficulty walking 300 feet. It took many months for him to be able to walk a 1000 feet without stopping due to pain in his legs. He now only has pain in one leg and is able to walk about a half mile without needing to stop.
Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Finding The Correct Footwear - My choice of shoes
I have tried lots of different shoes and have always had a hard time finding ones that are comfortable. They always fit good on one foot and then the arch is wrong on the other foot. I still keep coming back to Easy Spirit as they have many widths and rarely have I found one that doesn't feel right.
If your shoe is uncomfortable when you first put it on, it is the wrong choice, of shoe for you.
DO NOT count on it to fit someday!
Heel measures approximately 0.5"
Cushioned Foam sock-liner
Where To Walk
Making it easy to do each day
It would be wonderful if we all had a great beautiful country road to walk down or even a nice lake to walk around.
But unfortunately many of us don't have that luxury. If you wait for the ideal place or make it a chore to get to, you will soon find more excuses for not taking the time to do it.
When we were able to walk to the corner and attempt to go up the big hill it became apparent that the hill was too big of a challenge for my husband. After a number of tries and being a bit disgruntled over the task, he searched for a new route. He also knew by now that he really needed to stick with the exercise program. May be the statement "I don't want to push you around in a wheelchair" helped a bit!
The new route took us into a residential area. Our own was rather short and we would have had to do it numerous times to get a half mile, besides there was dogs. The new area also had dogs and some got to be too much, even though we used a device that they could hear and didn't like. Soon the device no longer worked. We stopped going in the area, when one of the people in the area told us 2 pitbulls were lose the day before and he had called the police. A couple of days later we were headed up in the same area and a man on his way down the hill told us there was a big dog out up there. DONE, that ended our walk in that area.
So now we walk on the city street with all the traffic, but we feel safer and although it is not ideal we are walking each day for almost an hour.
The goal is to walk the whole distance without stopping other than for the two lights we use to cross the road with. When this is accomplished then the next step would be to attempt the hill. But now that I have not ventured up and down stairs in about 20 months (they did call me back to work in 2011 for 4 months) I might not do so well with the hill.
My picture of Salt Spring Island
My Husband's Choice of Shoes - Gets a perfect fit everytime
He loves the shoe because it always fits comfortable. It doesn't slip on wet floors for him. I am not sure if all the Rockport shoes are like that or not. But he has found they have great stability in the rain, which would definitely be a plus if you were worried about slipping.
Get Out Everyday and Soon It Will Be a Habit
Having someone to walk with helps
If you can find someone to walk with each day it helps to motivate you to get out there and do it. When someone else is counting on you it gives you less of a reason to use excuses. There have been days that neither one of us wanted to walk, but for the most part it was never the same day. Since we counted on each other we bundled up and off we went.
The days that are hardest to walk is either when it is too hot or too cold. Oh yes, too cloudy or raining and of course surely you could come with a few more days that are unsuitable for walking. I don't live where it snows or the roads are icy, so I rarely have a valid reason for not walking.
If it is too hot, such as in a heat wave, we get up early and take off as soon as possible. This has been working out well, as we are back before 9:00 AM.
I know an elderly man who walks his little dog before 7 each morning. Later on he goes to one of the stores to pick up some groceries just about everyday. He is a little slow, but at least he is out there getting exercise each day.
Image courtesy of PhotoStock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Surprises About Walking
You just never know what you will find!
We have all heard about the health benefits of walking so I won't discuss that here.
On our walks we have met folks that we never would have if we never ventured out by foot. It has given us an opportunity to learn a lot of interesting things about others and our community.
We have found coins that have been dropped. Hubby has convinced me to quit picking up pennies, so I am refraining from doing that, but nickels, dimes and quarters are fair game. We once found a $20 bill and a wrench. Today we found a clip the kind we are missing on our hand truck so hopefully it will fit. So there are a number of surprises awaiting out there if you get out and walk.
Image by Presenter Media and my artistic flair
Time to Vote - What is your opinion about walking?
Do you like to walk for exercise?
Be Inspired - Learn more about walking and make it fun
Make this a life time choice, your body will thank you for it!
Simple & effective walking & firming moves at a safe and comfortable pace. An excellent program for older adults, based on proven firmong exercises that keep muscles strong, boost your metabolism and increase your energy.
If you get to walk in an interesting area, why not take some shots. You never know how fast time goes by if you are on an adventure.
What Do You Think?
Do you think it is better for older people to stay fit by walking?