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Seniors and Exercise

Walking for Exercise

Is There a Special Walking Technique?

Hold yourself straight, head up and stomach flat. Point your toes straight ahead, move forward from the ball of your foot and land on your heel. Step out at a steady pace and swing your arms.

About Walking Shoes

You don't need special shoes for walking, but you should wear strong, well-fitting shoes with good arch supports. Your shoes should be made of material that allows your feet to breathe, such as leather or nylon. Always wear socks.

If I Feel Unwell While Walking

Don't continue walking if ever you feel breathless, dizzy, sweaty or nauseous. Likewise, if you feel pain or discomfort in your chest, arms, neck, jaw or legs while you are walking, stop and rest. Sit down if you need to and ask a companion or passerby for assistance. Have your doctor check you over and, if necessary, prescribe medication to help you.

When You Walk Alone

Obviously, it is safer to walk with others for health and security reasons. However, some people prefer to walk alone, maybe listening to music from a headset while they walk. Others have no choice but to walk alone. If you do walk by yourself, it's worth remembering a few simple rules:

  • Always walk in a well-lit area
  • Walk on paved surfaces

Join in Community Walks

Many shopping malls around the country promote senior mall-walking programs in the morning before the mall stores open, so that seniors can walk under cover year-round.

Mall walks are a great way to start the day and a good way to get out and meet people. Call your local senior center to find out what mall-walking programs are available in your neighborhood. You can also organize your own group of neighbors to walk together regularly.