Walking at a brisk pace is simply the single best exercise you can perform. If you are fifty years of age or older, it should be your activity of choice. To reach your goal of optimal health, resolve today to begin a regular program of walking, at a pace which will provide an excellent cardiovascular workout.
Before beginning any exercise routine, especially after age fifty, you would be wise to consult your physician. If there is anything on your chart that would call for caution, your doctor will so advise you. I am sixty five years of age and I enjoy brisk walking for one hour each day. I am careful not to exceed my maximum heart rate which is 155 beats per minute.
The target heart rate for me, for the greatest benefit, is seventy to eighty five percent of the maximum heart rate. That would be anywhere between 109 and 132 beats per minute. I maintain a rate of 120 beats per minute throughout my walk. You might not be able to exercise every day and you do not need to. If you are walking for 30 minutes three times a week or every other day that will be sufficient as long as you are training at a pace which will raise your pulse to the target rate for aerobic conditioning. If your heart rate is higher than the target for your age, slow down.
Taking your pulse as you walk is easy. Wear a watch and midway through your walk, stop for a few seconds to check your heart rate. This can be done by gently touching your neck or left wrist. When you feel the pulse, count the number of beats for a period of 10 seconds. Now multiply that by six. If for example you are 55 years of age and counted 22 heart beats in the 10 second time frame, your training heart rate is 132 beats per minute. That fits perfectly within the desirable range of seventy percent to eighty five percent of the maximum heart rate of 165 beats per minute.
Now you might be inclined to say you don?t need to walk, you get enough exercise doing the household chores or walking to the car. Perhaps you play golf or go bowling. All of these activities are signs of life because while performing them, you are moving, but walking is different. Other exercises are good. Walking is great.
Here are just a few of the reasons for you to consider walking for health and well being. The degree of difficulty is low. You warm up and cool down by performing the exact same motion used during the walk, only you walk a little slower. It is a low intensity exercise with more time spent at a less strenuous level. You can do it alone or with friends. You can take your dog with you. During times of severe or inclement weather, you can move to an indoor track or mall.
Walking is basically an injury free activity, especially when compared to jogging. It is an excellent stress manager. No special skills are needed. No special equipment is required other than comfortable clothing and good walking shoes. Walking briskly provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. It develops muscle tone, endurance, strength and agility.
Walking out of doors amid pleasant surroundings gives you time and space to reflect. A good walk can lift you out of depressions, clear the mind, lift the spirit and even set the stage for problem solving later that day. You will lose fat, improve circulation, and expel waste matter through the lungs and skin. Increased intestinal motility results from the gentle swaying of the internal organs. Finally, walking fine tunes the metabolism, regulates the appetite, and increases your energy.
If you are between 50 and 100, a regular program of exercise can change your life and go a long way towards the prevention of diseases associated with aging. Why not get started this week? Speak to your doctor. Line up some comfortable clothing and break out those walking shoes. Aerobic walking is the best exercise, the best means, to eliminate or prevent sickness and suffering from your life, while extending your life expectancy.