How to Start a Walking Program for Seniors

Last Updated: 23.08.19

 

As we age, we tend to lose mobility due to various health issues that appear along the way, and that is why it is a good idea to understand how walkers for seniors actually work. Because our bones, muscles, and joints get weaker, it becomes more difficult for us to walk by ourselves without the help of certain mobility devices.

Most mobility aids have the role to assist with walking as there are many seniors who want to stay active even if their physical shape is not as good as it used to be. But, there are certain aspects that every elderly person should pay close attention to if they want to make sure that their walking program is not putting their health at risk.

Get started

Many fitness experts agree that walking is very good for your health and it helps anyone achieve the recommended levels of physical activity. So, if you want to stay in good shape and to live a long and happy life, the first step is to start a walking program. What is great about this type of exercise is that it is enjoyable, too.

Walking is believed to be the oldest form of exercise and it has become more and more popular among people of various ages. Besides being very relaxing, walking is also easy to start as it doesn’t require you to be in tip-top physical condition. When you walk, it is pretty hard to hurt yourself which makes it a perfect physical activity for seniors.

Furthermore, walking will help you strengthen muscles all over your body and your feet will become healthier. The best part about this form of exercise is that it is suitable for anyone regardless of how good their physical shape is. Studies show that almost every cardiac rehabilitation program in America bases its exercise program on walking.

It is extremely important to warm up before you start every workout – a few simple stretches can help you avoid sore muscles. Even though walking focuses more on the muscles of the legs, it is equally important to stretch your shoulders, back, and arms, too. By doing this you will be able to enjoy your walk more and it will also prove to be more effective.

The best part about walking is that it helps you build stamina so that you can intensify your workouts only when you feel confident enough. If you have noticed that it has become easier for you to walk a few miles then you can try to walk more. Before making your activity more intense, you should consult a doctor to ensure that your walking program is according to your fitness level.

 

Comfortable shoes and clothes

Since you are just starting your fitness program, you have to bear in mind that the proper equipment is necessary in order to avoid unwanted accidents. When we say proper equipment all we mean is comfortable clothes and shoes. Unlike other sports or physical activities, walking doesn’t necessarily require you to have special clothing.

Whatever you enjoy wearing and it doesn’t cause any type of discomfort will do. There are a few tricks that can make a world of difference in your comfort and one of them is the type of socks you are wearing. It is recommended to wear good, padded socks that will definitely help you reduce the risk of injuring your feet.

Also, you should pay attention to certain features when choosing the right shoes as they will improve your walking experience. Nowadays, you can find shoes that are specifically designed for walking so it is not hard to imagine that those are the ones that you should opt for. But, even these come in various styles and models.

What you need to look for is the uppers to be made of high-quality and breathable materials and among them, we can note the mesh fabric. Furthermore, it is a good idea to look for those that have some leather, too, because they will offer better protection to your feet. Also, they should have a comfortable padded heel collar to reduce slippage.

Additionally, the shoes should have a firm heel counter to provide proper support for the entire foot and leg. Choosing the right clothes is as important as choosing the right shoes. That is why you should always wear clothes that are loose because when you walk, the body’s temperature elevates, and the last thing you want is to feel sticky.

Design a personal walking program

The most important thing to do before starting any exercise program is to consult with your physician. After that, it is easy for you to set a time schedule that you can keep and set realistic goals that can be easily achieved. It is essential to understand your body and then create an exercise plan that will not put your health at risk.

Your body always sends you various signals when something is not as it should be, and that is why we recommend that you always pay attention to how you react to certain workouts. Sometimes you might feel eager to walk more, but if your body tells you to stop, you should listen to it.

Safety is your number one priority, and no matter how willing you are to intensify your workouts, we would advise you to start from the beginning just to be safe. There are certain walking programs that might work just fine for your friends or relatives, but they are not suitable for you. This means that you need to choose your physical activities according to your own necessities and physical endurance. You can start with walking 30 minutes a day (at least 150 minutes a week) because at this activity level your risk of heart disease is reduced.

In order to stay on track, it is a good idea to record your walks; it is up to you if you choose a certain mobile application or if you prefer to just write it down in a journal. The benefit of doing this is that you can keep track of your progress daily and you will be able to tell if you are ready to go to the next level.

 

 

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