Walking your way to fitness.

Walking is an ideal activity, it's free and requires no special equipment. According to the Physical Activity in Later Life survey done in 1999 half of all older adults walk at least a mile at least once a week. However the survey also reported that only 13% of men and 10% of women aged 50+ walk at an intensity suitable to benefit their health at least once a week.

Feet walkingModerate intensity for walking would be at a pace that will be enough to elevate the heart rate and as a rule for walking, if you can’t have a conversation you are going to fast, if you can sing a song you are going to slow.

When you're walking to get or stay fit you want to ensure your walking technique is good.

  • Stand up straight, you should not be leaning either forwards or backwards.
  • Keep your shoulders back, down and relaxed, this should also slightly lift your chest.
  • Keep your chin parallel to the ground and pulled in slightly.
  • Strike the ground first with your heel and roll through the step from heel to toe.
  • Pull your navel into your spine, which will recruit the stabilising muscles of the trunk and help maintain the correct posture.
To add power to your walk (and burn more calories) add in your arms. Bend your arms at the elbow at a 90-degree angle and swing them toward the center of your body.  They should not cross the midline and your hands should be partially curled but loosely as if holding a butterfly.

Remember you should do a warm up first which could be a 5 minute walk at an easy pace and when you have finished take the time to do some stretching.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

"Image courtesy of Hyena Reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".