Tips for walking as exercise
Tips for when you are walking
1) Ensure to wear a good pair of walking shoes, not shoes with a heel
2) Try to stand up as straight as possible. The more hunched over you are, the more difficult it is to breathe and also can aggravate your back.
3) Wear loose (not too loose that you could trip) clothing
4) If you have had a fall or near fall in the past, a cane can assist to give you additional support.
5) You need to ensure that there are no uneven surfaces etc in front on you.
If possible, try not to look directly at your feet but approximately 20 feet in front of you. The reason being that looking at your feet will put additional stress on your upper back and neck.
6) You need to do 60 minutes a day of weight bearing, which is an activity which your body weight is on your feet. You can break the minutes up to 2 sets of 30 minutes, 6 sets of 10 minutes, 3 sets of 20 minutes or even 10 sets of 5 minutes.
7) You should ensure that you are not walking the exact same route every day. For example, if you walk out of your house and turn right every day, try turning left every second day, or cross the road every second day or walk on the inside of the path Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the other days, walk on the outside of the path. By changing the route every second day, your bones will benefit the most.
8) Only If you are steady on your feet, you could try: walking for 5 minutes, at your normal walking speed ( a 5 out of 10), then increase your speed to a 6 out of 10 for one minute, as this also helps your bones.
9) Walking is great for your overall health. Some studies have shown that it can reduce a person’s cravings for chocolate and sugary snacks, especially when the person is in a stressful situation.
10) Research shows that walking can reduce a person’s risk of breast cancer
11) As a person walks, their joint are lubricated and the persons walking muscles are strengthened, which can help to reduce your risk of falling.
12) Walking is thought to help improve your immune system functioning
Wet, windy days in Ireland
On a wet, windy day, if you do not feel safe going outside for a walk, you could try the following: You could stand behind a high-backed chair, put your hands on the back of the chair for support. Turn on your favourite TV programme, or radio station and march on the spot.
You could walk up and down a flight of stairs in your home. This is equivalent to one minute of weight bearing exercise.