Strolling in pairs or groups with hands clasped behind the lower back and conversation freely flowing is one appealing aspect of walking for seniors. Clipping along in tennis shoes at a local mall or on the beach and through the neighborhoods is another. Both lead to increased fitness often while promoting time together with peers. Some senior groups make it an annual or more frequent event to walk together to support a cause like breast cancer research or multiple sclerosis, and other groups make goals together to increase distance and fitness levels. Even circling the block after meals each day is a regular routine for many.
Walking is such a healthful activity that the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the Lifelong Fitness Alliance (LFA) and the Stanford University Health Improvement Program designed a program for encouraging people over 50 to organize their own walking groups. A 10-week program called Stepping Strong includes a manual and pedometer, as well as individual nutrition and movement tracking calendars. It also issues a call to action for seniors interested in being Fitness Ambassadors who will volunteer to lead groups through the program [source: LFA]. If walking with friends and family is already a hobby or if you're already an unofficial "social director" for organizing outings, leading a Stepping Strong program could be a walk in the park for you.