Walking for Your Health

My gloomy weather walk

Today’s weather has been quite gloomy. Thunderstorms arrived earlier so timing my walk today was key to not getting drenched. As you can see in the image above, gloomy weather persisted. At least the temperature was tolerable. Had the clouds not been present, we would have likely experienced 90-degree weather like yesterday with high humidity.

Why Daily Walking?

  • Walking at least 7,500 steps daily helps lowers the risk of death by 40% according to the Harvard Health Letter.
  • Walking can help you maintain a more healthy weight
  • Walking can help you strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Your cardiovascular fitness will hopefully improve over time
  • Improving your endurance is beneficial for greater longevity

What We Know About These Benefits

Who doesn’t want to feel better each and every day?  Is Walking the Key?  It may or may not be the key but I always feel better and have a clearer mind after a good walk. How do these things happen? A good brisk walk gets your blood flowing at a better rate than if you’re just vegging out on the couch or laying in bed. You can easily validate that with a simple Blood Pressure Cuff.

    Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff

    Check your blood pressure before and after a good walk and note the difference. It’s real easy to do and as seniors, it never hurts to know your numbers. Walking at least five days a week can really help you get and keep your numbers in a healthy range. In a segment from Prevention Magazine, I learned that research shows: that walking can do everything from lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of chronic diseases to making your brain sharper and your heart happier.

    Speaking of a healthy range, exactly what is that? A quick look on Google gave these results: Recently, the American Heart Association (AHA) updated its guidance to indicate that people age 65 and older should ideally have a blood pressure reading lower than 130/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury).

    What to Wear For Walking

    • More important than anything… Be Comfortable!
    • Dress for the weather. Light clothing if it’s HOT and warmly if it’s COLD. 
    • Use Common Sense! 
    • Buying an expensive walking outfit is NOT necessary.
    • Spend the MOST money on your SHOES!  

    Why Spend More Money on Shoes?

    I really do not believe I should have to say much here but you all know that your entire body is supported by whatever you put on your feet. A GREAT pair of walking shoes can make SO much difference in how you feel during and after your walk. Some of us were born with great arches and as a result, we can wear just about any shoe and feel good. The remainder can often benefit from some type of arch support. Disregarding the need for that support can result in back pain and other issues. If you have any questions on this issue, a visit to a podiatrist might be of benefit to you. Ask around. Someone in your circle has probably seen one or knows someone who has and can give you a good recommendation.


    Conclusion

    Walking is, in my opinion, one of the easiest ways to Boost Your Health and Wellness. You can lower your Blood Pressure and help to clear your arteries by increasing the blood flow while walking. After repeated walking, you begin to increase your muscle strength, in your legs at least, and your endurance will increase. If you have a weight challenge, start easy and as you build up strength and endurance you can possibly begin to see some of that weight come off. If nothing else, you’ll be stronger and able to carry it more easily.

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