Active Living for Seniors: How You Can Enhance Your Walking Routine
Walking is one of the simplest and most effective exercises. It is a low-impact form of exercise that can be done almost anywhere, and it has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health.
If this is your primary form of exercise, finding simple ways to enhance your walking routine is essential to make it more challenging and beneficial. At Lakeshore Senior Living, we focus on creating an active living environment for seniors. Our senior living community and the Guntersville, Alabama, area have countless opportunities for individuals to lead active and fulfilling lifestyles. To help you on your journey of active living, our team is sharing ways to boost your walking routine!
Set Goals and Track Progress
Setting goals and tracking progress are great ways to enhance any exercise routine, including walking. For example, you can set goals such as walking a certain distance, walking for a certain amount of time, or increasing speed.
Furthermore, you can track progress using a pedometer or a fitness tracker to stay motivated and see your improvements over time.
Incorporate Strength Training
Strength training is an important component of physical activity, and walking is no exception. As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and strength, leading to decreased balance and an increased risk of falls. Incorporating strength training exercises can help build muscle and improve balance, making your walking routine more effective and safer.
Some ideas include carrying a lightweight in each hand or wearing ankle weights during your walk. You could even break up your walk by periodically stopping to do bodyweight exercises, like lunges or squats.
Increase the Intensity
Increasing the intensity of a walking routine can help you challenge your body and get more out of your exercise. This can be done by adding hills to your route, increasing the speed of your walk, or carrying weights. Increasing the intensity gradually over time can help you avoid injury and build up your endurance.
Use Proper Form
Using proper form while walking is vital. This includes keeping your head up with your chin parallel to the ground, your shoulders back and relaxed, your back straight, and your core engaged. You should also make sure to land on your heel and roll through your foot when you take a step rather than landing flat-footed.
Incorporating proper form into your walking routine helps to improve posture, prevent strain on the back and neck, improve breathing, and reduce the risk of joint pain or injury.
Find a Walking Partner
Walking with a partner can help you stay motivated and make your walking routine more enjoyable. In addition, it can provide essential social interaction and support, making it more likely that you will stick to your routine since your partner will help hold you accountable.
You can also join a walking group in your senior living community, which can provide additional support and motivation. Just make sure to find a walking partner with a similar pace and fitness level to prevent strain or injury.
Mix it Up
Walking the same route every day can become boring over time, leading to a decrease in motivation. Instead, enhance your walking routine by mixing it up and trying new things, such as a change of scenery!
Walking in a different area or on diverse terrain is another great way to keep your walking routine interesting, as well as work different muscles in your body. For example, walking on pavement, sand, or a nature trail all feel different and work your muscles differently.
Lakeshore Senior Living and Lake Guntersville offer countless opportunities for individuals to explore and live actively. From outdoor areas within our community to nature preserves in the local area, mixing up your walking routine is as easy as taking another step!
The spring season and warmer weather are the perfect reasons to start a new walking routine or give your existing one a fresh boost. But, as always, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor before starting or changing your exercise routine.
We invite you to call 256-849-2845 or explore our website to learn more about how we keep seniors active and healthy in our community.