Taking Steps To Better Aging
Like a Fine Wine
One thing is certain, we’re all getting older and how well we age has a lot to do with the steps we take to stay healthy. Along with a nutritious, balanced diet and plenty of rest we need to stay active to age well, like a fine wine.
It’s vitally important that we move our bodies to keep the blood flowing, our muscles working and our heart pumping. Hang out on the couch long enough and you’ll start to look like one of the cushions.
One of the very best ways to start moving is to walk more. Walking is fantastic for your overall health. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, it can improve your balance and coordination, lift your mood and strengthen your bones. In fact, the Mayo clinic says it can even help to prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Best of all, walking is easy to do and it doesn’t require a huge investment.
Steps to Take More Steps
An excellent walking goal is 10,000 steps a day and there is *new evidence showing that simply increasing your number of daily steps, by as little as 2000 or 3000 can be beneficial. Here are a few steps you can take to take more steps!
Step 1 – Get a good pair of walking shoes
Visit your local sporting goods store, or running shop and ask a knowledgeable “walker” for some advice on finding the right shoe for you. A good shoe, made for walking, will cushion your feet and help you feel great. The right shoe can also prevent injuries like shin splints, blisters and others. You want to be sure you get a shoe specifically made for walking so you are comfortable and have the support you need.
Step 2 – Get a pedometer
There are a whole host of pedometers available to choose from. There are models that clip on, band around your wrist and even function as watches that can track your progress. I use the LifeTrack c200 watch which works very well and costs under $40.00. If you’re interested, I reviewed the c200 here. If you’re on a budget you can even find FREE apps for your iPhone or Android smartphone.
Step 3 – Find a partner
If you can, locate a partner. There are great benefits in walking with someone else, it’s more fun, they’ll provide some accountability,and it’s safer. To find a partner you can ask around at work, a local gym or even look on line at sites like meetup.com. Be sure to take a minute and read meetup.com’s safety recommendations.
Step 4 – Find excuses to walk
Adding steps to your day is easier than you may think, especially when you’re on the look out for opportunities to do it. One of my personal favorites is to walk during my lunch break. Some other ideas for fitting in more steps everyday:
- have a walking meeting;
- pick a spot in the back row of the parking lot;
- take the dog for a walk;
- break it up through out the day and walk before breakfast, at lunch and after dinner;
- If the weather is nice go for a nature hike, walk the beach or stroll through your local park;
- If the weather isn’t cooperating hit the mall and do a few laps;
- Find a fun sport to play that includes walking. I play disc golf and generally get an additional 4000 – 5000 steps in while playing!
Staying active and moving your body is an excellent way to improve your health as you age. It’s fun to be active and the benefits are awesome. So get out there and take a step toward a better, finer, healthier you.
Steve Stearns is an avid outdoorsman and host of the Outside Health and Fitness podcast. He shares practical advice, resources and interviews experts from the world of fitness, nutrition and health. His goal is to help others discover new, fun and effective ways to be naturally fit, healthy and happy.
*Tudor – Locke, Catrine “How many steps/day are enough? for children and adolescents”. International Journal for Equity in Health. 28 July 2011. Web. 02 Feb 2014.