Focus on Seniors

Ways to Walk More This Winter

Walking is one of the best exercises seniors can do. If walking outdoors is a problem, find local indoor facilities like malls, high schools and indoor tracks to keep mobile.
Matilda Charles, January 2018

Walking is one of the best exercises seniors can do. It helps with depression, blood pressure, mental acuity, muscle strength, bone mass, joint support, balance and more.

For some, however, walking outdoors can be a problem now that cold weather has arrived. Along with freezing temperatures, snow and ice on sidewalks can be treacherous.

There are ways around that, however. You only need to think of indoor places that are big enough.

• If you live near a big mall, ask if early-morning walking is allowed. Not only will it be climate-controlled, but the floors are flat and many have benches along the way.

• Is there a gym with an indoor track near you, or a recreational center? How about the high school’s gym or the hallways before or after school? Or a large business complex, or big-box store? If nothing else, take a few extra laps around the grocery store’s outermost aisles.

• What you need to get started: a couple friends and sturdy shoes. Carry your cellphone in an interior pocket and wear a hat until you get warmed up from being outside. Don’t walk with your hands in your pocket as that may affect your balance.

• You also need motivation. That’s where friends can come in. If you’re expected at a certain place at a certain time, or if the walking group shows up at your door to collect you, you’re more likely to go than if you try to motivate yourself.

• If you absolutely have no nearby indoor places to walk, ask your library if they have indoor walking exercise videos. You can walk right at home.

Ask your doctor if a 30-minute walk each day would be appropriate for you, or maybe one hour three times a week.


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