Walking For Senior Citizens – As Told By a Senior Citizen
Walking For Senior Citizens is important for quite a number of reasons which will be covered in this article.
I believe that for me personally it was important as I had experienced a heart attack some 13 years ago following a sedentary life.
I didn’t start walking until I moved into a Retirement Community about 15 months ago and was determined to improve my physical condition.
Please remember to always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Here is an article on Wikipedia about Walking.
My Personal Experience
As I said I didn’t really start walking until 15 months ago.
My son who is a runner always wanted me to exercise and suggested walking was a good way to do it.
He told me just after my heart attack to walk to my letterbox on the first day.
On the second day to walk as far as my next door neighbors letterbox and keep increasing the distance by 1 letterbox every day.
I could never work out when I should stop increasing the number.
Anyway to cut a long story short I only got to my letterbox to see if I had received any mail.
Getting Into Walking
About 15 months ago I move to a retirement community.
I felt safe walking here as I had a medical alert monitor and there are a lot of benches to sit on if you need to sit down.
I was doing about 2k a day when I met my new lady friend.
She walked daily so we decided to walk together.
In no time I was up to 4k a day.
About 5 months ago I started getting Angina and shortness of breath.
My walking reduced to 100m a day.
I have now been able to start walking again and am building up slowly.
I found while I was not walking how much I missed it.
Today I have had 4 short walks with no problems and will increase distances as much as possible.
I am now sleeping better than I have done for many years.
There are many reasons why senior citizens should be walking.
It is a very low cost way of exercising.
Medical experts tell us it is a good way to exercise and is a proven method of cardiovascular exercise.
There are many more benefits than just getting exercise.
I have found it is a great way to socialise with many other people.
It is amazing how many people you meet and have some really great discussions with.
While this slows down your walking I believe the social aspect of life is also important to us as we age.
Walking can assist you in losing weight but you need to watch your diet also.
I managed to lose around 17kg in the first 10 months but since I have not been walking as far I have put 2kg back on.
My doctor told me, about two weeks ago, that if I lose another 15kg I can probably come off my diabetes medication including insulin.
This news has motivated me to get back into it as I now have medical proof I can begin walking again
Things to Remember about Walking
Remember to check with your doctor before starting to walk.
Don’t try to do too much if, like me, you had not exercised for many years. Take it slowly and build up to the distances your doctor has advised you to do.
Get yourself a good pair of walking shoes. I got advice from my Podiatrist for this.
Enjoy the experience.
Breathe in the fresh air and smell the flowers.
Nature is wonderful.
Things to Help You When Walking
If you are having difficulty when walking there are a few things to help you.
These are from my experience but please remember I am not a doctor just one of you.
Firstly think if you are breathing correctly.
I believe it is important to breathe correctly.
How do you breathe correctly – Breathe in through your nose and exhale through the mouth.
Don’t overdo it.
Remember to build up the distance and speed you walk at over time. You will be surprised at just what distances you will be covering in very little time.
My current goal is 10k a day.
Since not walking for some time,due to medical issues, I am now up to just over 2k a day.
I think within a fortnight I should be somewhere around 5K.
Then I will give it another 4 weeks to reach 10K.
I don’t believe that when building up you have to do it all in just 1 walk a day.
I do think that you should make each walking session a minimum of half an hour ,excluding breaks, after you build up to this.
Equipment To Help Walking
You must remember to be sensible when walking so if you have balance issues use the proper equipment so that you will not have falls.
I use a walking stick but I also own a rollator and more recently have taken ownership if a mobility scooter.
The mobility scooter is now going to be used solely for shopping trips.
I stopped using the rollator,probably not the smartest thing I have done, but it is difficult to hold hands with your loved one while using a rollator.
I do, however, find the walking stick is enough for me to rely on.
Another thing you may like to do is download an app for your cell phone to record the distance you are walking.
These are very good as some will tell you your daily total of steps and calories used.
I was thinking of getting a fitbit but my daughter asked me if I was intending to input the calories consumed during the day as well.
I didn’t wish to go to this extent.
It may suit you better to get a simple pedometer as these will also give you certain readings.
I do know some people who do not have a cell phone and they use one of these.
Walking Stick, Rollator and Walkers
I have a simple aluminium walking stick which is lightweight and easy to use.
Actually I own 3 of them as I also use them internally in my unit on the advice of a Physiotherapist due to balance issues.
It was suggested some time ago that I get a rollator.
These are great to use, as if you get tired, you can sit down on them and have a rest.
You may also carry a bottle of water in the pouch under the seat as well as other things you may need, hence no need to carry these items in your hand.
They are easy to fold up to fit into your car.
Walkers may come with or without wheels.
Be guided by your health professional if you may require any of these items and which one to get.
You may need to be measured by a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist so that you will know the correct size to get yourself.
For more information on these please read this article on our site.
I am sure if you read this article and discuss it with your medical advisors and your loved ones you will start enjoying walking as much as I do.
It really is great to get out into the fresh air and knowing you have breathed all pure air into your lungs. (This coming from a person who smoked for 47 years and gave up 11 years ago.)