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The weather is cooler, and it is a great time to get active outdoors. Walking is simple, yet effective, and offers long-term benefits for all ages. Here are some practical tips for newbie walkers.
- Know your motivation- There are so many reasons to begin a fitness routine. What is yours? Do you want to lose weight, reduce stress, sleep better at night, or gain confidence. Maybe your motivation is health-related. Walking is beneficial for your heart, strengthens muscles, decreases your cancer risk, and lowers your blood pressure.
2. Develop a plan- You have heard the expression “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Set yourself up for success by getting into a workout routine. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Breaking that up, it equates to 30 minutes five days per week. Fitness trackers, or simply writing on a calendar the days you walk, will help you stay accountable, and will help you stick to your fitness goals.
3. Dress for success- Good walking shoes are a must. Aim for shoes that are light, flexible, and supportive. It is best to wear breathable, dry-fit fabrics, and on cooler days dress in layers. Be aware of the colors you choose too. Select light colored or reflective clothing, especially if you walk at dusk or dawn.
4. Keep the pace- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a brisk walk as about 3.0 miles per hour or more. That is good to know if you are walking on a treadmill, but not so helpful as you walk around your neighborhood. A good general rule is you should be able to still have conversation during your walk, but not able to sing a song. You want to get your heart rate up so a leisurely stroll is not what you are going for.
5. Create good habits- Treat your body right. Warm up those muscles before your walk and stretch them after. Keep your body hydrated and fueled with nutrient rich foods. During your walks focus on good posture with your head up. Use this time to de-stress, focus on the positive in your life, and connect with nature.
Stayed tuned to the County Health Care Guide Blog to learn more about assisted-living, senior care, senior placement, and important senior news in Volusia County. From Daytona to Port Orange to New Smyrna Beach, the County Health Care Guide is the only resource you need.