Spring is almost here, and now is the perfect time to start walking. Many of us here at One Reverse Mortgage are taking advantage of the nice weather and enjoying a stroll around town. There are so many benefits to taking a walk around your neighborhood. Some benefits of taking a walk:
• Lowers blood pressure
• Healthier heart
• Improves balance and coordination
• Improves muscle strength
• Burns fat and helps fight weight gain
Before you start a walking routine there are few things you should do to help avoid injury and have fun while walking. Below are eight helpful walking tips:
Before starting your walking routine spend a little time stretching and warming up your body. Stretching is the best way to prepare your body for an activity like walking. Stretch your legs and your arms. You work your whole body when you are walking.
When starting a walking routine remember, start slow and work up to a faster pace. Keep your pace light and your distance short at first, don’t over extend yourself right away. Experts suggest walking in ten minute sessions. If after ten minutes you do not feel exhausted continue another ten minutes. Once you feel the least bit tired call it quits for the day. Don’t forget the distance you walk, you have to walk back, so do not over extend yourself. Another great tool for measuring your pace is a pedometer. Pedometers can help you keep track of how many steps you have taken and how far you have walked.
Wear the right gear
There are so many benefits to walking, but if you’re not wearing the right gear you can do more damage than good. Like any activity you want to use the right equipment. Get walking shoes that fit well, have great support and are comfortable to walk in. Also make sure you are wearing comfortable clothes that won’t be too hot or too cold for your walk. The best thing to do is dress in layers so if you do become warm, you can just peel off a layer.
Bring a bottle of water with you on walk. Staying hydrated is important at any age, but it is especially important in older adults. If you do become dehydrated you can get sleepy and disorientated, so remember to bring along a bottle of water.
Pay attention to the ground
Until you become familiar with your walking route pay attention to the ground. Look for spots that’s are uneven or have large cracks that could cause you to fall. Knowing the landscape of the sidewalk you are walking on can help you to avoid an injury. If the path you choose to walk is not flat consider changing your route for a safer one.
Get a friend involved
A friend can encourage you to walk on days when you aren’t feeling motivated. Walking with a friend can help you set a good pace as well. Not to mention you have company to talk about things in your life which can help make your walk time go by faster!
Take a break
If along your walk you feel the need to take a break, take a break! There is no need to feel like you are in a rush or need to finish you walk in a certain amount of time. The same can be said if don’t want to go for a walk one day. Take a day off if you don’t feel like walking. The important thing to remember is not to not quit completely!
Keep an eye on your feet
Pay attention to your feet and ankles for any kind of pain or abnormal redness. If any numbness, tingling or burning occurs seek medical attention from a doctor. Avoid treating yourself because you might make a minor issue a bigger problem. If you have diabetes, use extra precaution and remember to check your feet daily to avoid complications.
Before getting involved with any exercise program, consult your doctor. You want to make sure you are healthy enough to start a new workout.
Do you have any easy exercise tips?