6 Ways to Enhance Your Walking Routine

Walking is one of the simplest and most effective ways for older adults to stay active and strengthen their muscles. It is a low-impact exercise that can improve cardiovascular health, increase strength and flexibility, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. 

However, some individuals may find it challenging to maintain a regular walking routine for various reasons, such as mobility issues, joint pain, or even a lack of motivation. As a provider of long-term care options, our team at Vivage is sharing tips to help you or someone you love boost their walking routine and stay healthy and active.

1. Start Slowly & Gradually Increase the Intensity

We are all on our own paths when it comes to fitness, and if you are just getting into a walking routine, it is essential to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your walks.

Walking for a few minutes every day can help you build endurance, strengthen your muscles, and improve your cardiovascular health. Once you feel comfortable walking for a certain period of time, you can increase the duration and intensity of your walks gradually. Start by adding a few minutes to your daily walk or increasing your walking speed.

Another way to do this is by incorporating intervals. For example, during your walk, try walking at a slower pace followed by an interval of a quicker pace. Repeat this process as many times as you feel comfortable.

2. Utilize a Fitness Tracker

Using a fitness tracker can be an excellent and fun way to track your progress and stay motivated. These devices can help you monitor the number of steps you take, the distance you cover, and the calories you burn during your walks. 

You can also set daily step goals and work to achieve them. In addition, most fitness trackers come with features that allow you to compete with friends and family members, which can also be a great tool for motivation.

3. Incorporate Strength Training Exercises

Incorporating strength training exercises in your walking routine can help you build muscle and improve your overall fitness. Strength training exercises can also help older adults maintain bone density, which is essential for osteoporosis prevention. Try carrying light weights or strapping on a pair of ankle weights during your walk to challenge your body and strengthen muscles.

4. Join or Create a Walking Group

Joining a walking group can be an excellent way to stay motivated and make new friends. Walking groups provide a supportive environment for individuals to socialize, share experiences, and stay accountable. You can look for local walking groups in your area or even connect with residents in your community who are looking to get more active. Walking groups can also be an excellent opportunity to explore new places, enjoy the outdoors, and maintain meaningful connections.

5. Switch Up Your Walking Routine

Walking the same route every day can become monotonous and demotivating. Instead, give your walking routine a boost by exploring new routes and changing your scenery. Walking in different environments and on various terrain such as parks, beaches, or up hills can provide a new and exciting challenge. 

Walking on a forest trail, pavement, beach sand, etc., are all different experiences. As such, they work the muscles in your legs differently. Varying your walking routes can also prevent boredom and keep you motivated. (NOTE: Be mindful and wear proper footwear for each type of terrain to avoid slips or falls.)

6. Walk in a Different Direction

Walking in different directions refers to walking in intervals of either sideways or backward. This helps you use different muscle groups in your legs. Be careful when doing this, though, so you do not lose your balance or trip over something behind you.

The spring season is the perfect time of year to get out and start a new walking routine or give your existing one a fresh boost. However, it is always recommended to talk to your doctor before starting or making any changes to your fitness and exercise routine.

If you would like to learn more about our long-term care options and explore the Vivage difference, we invite you to visit our website or contact a member of our team.

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