There are plenty of thrill-seeking seniors who get their daily exercise by running marathons, skydiving and swimming from Cuba to Miami. And while they certainly earn every bit of respect and media attention they garner, there are plenty of ways to get your daily exercise without performing superhuman feats.
Walking is one of the most tried-and-true forms of exercise, and comes with plenty of physical, emotional and social benefits as well. Like any form of exercise, it requires a certain level of discipline and know-how in order to be truly effective. Here are a few tips on how to make walking an effective part of your daily routine:
Start a walking club — There’s no better way to create accountability and make friends than by starting a walking club. Grab a few people and commit to walking each day for half an hour — the time will go by so quickly that you’ll hardly realize that you just got your daily exercise. Starting or joining a walking club is also an excellent way to make friends at a new community in a low-stress environment.
Take a different path — It’s great to get into a set routine, but sometimes the beaten bath can get a little too familiar. Avoid boredom by switching it up and choosing a different path a few times a week. Exploring new routes and new areas can help your exercise seem fresh and new, and help you get a better sense of the community around you.
Go “off-roading” — While many communities and areas have great sidewalks and paved walking lanes, consider mixing it up and walking on a variety of different surfaces and terrains. Start by walking in parks and low-terrain trails, and then gradually work your way up to hills and different surfaces. The higher the incline and more treacherous the terrain, the more challenging — and rewarding — your walks will be.
Ditch your car — Depending on your area, you may be able to walk to local businesses and restaurants. Log on to AFTER55.com and check the WalkScore — the “walkability” of your community to local businesses — and determine whether you could walk instead of drive. As a result, you could be helping the environment, and your health at the same time.
How do you get your daily exercise? Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to having an exercise routine? Feel free to share in the comments below!