Exercise is essential to maintaining good health and the warmer and longer summer days provide many opportunities for outdoor activities. Walking is a great way to get exercise into your routine and is one of your body’s most natural forms of exercise. It’s safe, simple, and doesn’t require practice, and the health benefits are numerous.
Studies show that getting the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day for adults helps us achieve and maintain a healthy weight, lowers our risk for diabetes and certain types of cancer, improves our mood, enhances our quality of life, and improves physical function for those with arthritis.
Here are some tips for reducing the risk of injury when beginning a walking program:
- Take it slow your first day out! Start with an easily attainable goal – say ten minutes, and then add a couple minutes each day.
- If you don’t like to watch the clock, you can measure your progress by city blocks – start with one or two blocks and add to it, as you are able.
- If you want to increase your workout, but don’t want to add extra time, just walk faster or find some hills or stairs to increase the intensity.
- A good goal for starters is to get out for a walk three times per week and then increase it to five or seven days per week.
- Wear properly fitting shoes. Invest your time and money and get a pair of shoes that are professionally fit for you.
Hebrew SeniorLife offers a new setting where everyone can exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. Miles of accessible, smoothly graded walking trails on the campus of NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham are waiting to be explored.