Stay Fit at Any Age

Walk for Fitness at All AgesIf you’ve ever been on a dieting or fitness roller coaster you’ll have already learned that we need to work out or walk regularly to to stay fit. However our overly busy lives often keep us from our fitness program once we’ve met our goals.

This has often caused me to wonder why I keep running across research reports stating that we have more leisure time today than any other time in history. How can that be? I seldom feel as though I have leisure time and I know a lot of you are over-stretched and stressed out as well. Regardless of work obligations, looking after our homes and children (and in some cases our parents), we need to take care of ourselves and stay in shape. This becomes ever more important as we pass the age of 40 years when we find that we’ll have to work harder to lose five pounds or re-build muscle.

The superior strategy dictates that if we’re in shape it is far easier to maintain that state than have to fight our way back after a month of letting life get in the way or worse, working out too hard and pulling a muscle or spraining an ankle on our walk.

In the last five years I’ve been following the advice of author Tosca Reno as we’re similar in stature and age. Tosca recommends staying on track by making intelligent and clean eating choices, to eat five or six small meals a day, and drink plenty of water. This style of eating literally fuels your body with a steady flow of energy, keeps your metabolism humming along and minimizes the risk of suffering from highs and lows throughout the day.

How frequent you eat is as important of what you eat. You need a balanced diet of carbs, protein, fiber and fats to maintain your energy balance. Tosca suggests eating carbs with a protein in the morning and working through your food choices to fresh fruits and vegetables with proteins by the end of the day. I can’t give the full systematic eating program in this short article but she has written many books on the subject, the latest of which is “Your Best Body Now”.

Aside from eating, hydrating and remaining consistent in your workout schedule you might also consider the shoes on your feet – especially if you need a little extra motivation to stay active. Since different workouts require different shoes make sure your sneakers are in good shape and suitable for the job at hand. If you love to power walk or jog you’ll already know that the average walking or jogging trainer will give you about 500 miles before they wear out. Even less if you have any deviation in a neutral gait (many of us do).

If you are worrying or wondering about your stride and gait but aren’t committed to visiting a podiatrist or orthotic specialist, you may find that by taking your old sneakers into the store you might be able to get some free advice about a more suitable style for your needs. Specialty fitness stores may be able to retro-fit a new pair of sneakers with special insoles to balance your gait and therefore reduce the chance of injury. For years I hadn’t known of the risks involved by wearing the wrong shoes for the exercise but after many years of reading and sharing with other enthusiasts I now realize.

Get, and Keep, Walking Every Day

Walking Every Day for Fitness
Walk every day, in all kinds of weather, to increase your health and maintain (or lose) weight. It doesn't always need to be a power walk - even a stroll in the park with a friend is beneficial.

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.”

I’m not sure who coined that phrase but it is one of my favorites when I’m lacking in motivation. This is especially true when it comes to good health and personal fitness and the phrase motivates me every day to strap on my pedometer and get out there for a walk.

You see really, when it comes right down to it, the exercise we do today determines what we can or cannot do in the future. How hard we push ourselves this week will determine how good we look next week. However, it is important to remember that personal health and fitness needn’t be an all encompassing lifestyle. Make it a part of who you are and what you do. You don’t need to be a guru or a fitness expert to reap the rewards and you don’t need to knock yourself out.

While some may think that exercise and fitness needs to be hard, challenging or even painful, this needn’t be the case. Many trainers and fitness experts having written numerous studies on aerobic exercise and suggest that walking for just 30 minutes per day is sufficient to maintain a higher level of health and increase your life span.

Walking? Yes, walking. It isn’t particularly challenging – although you can make it so – and it doesn’t require a lot of money to get started. You really just need some comfortable and supportive shoes, motivation, and an accurate pedometer to chart your progress.

For your efforts you will reap the rewards of:

  • a reduction in body fat
  • lower your cholesterol levels
  • an increase in cardiovascular endurance
  • lower blood pressure
  • a strengthened immune system
  • a consistent weight range
  • higher bone density
  • lessened risks for colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease
  • plus much more.

How to Get Started

Here’s all you really need:

  • comfortable shoes (preferably designed for fitness walking)
  • a walking journal or notepad to record your progress
  • a step counter or pedometer
  • 5 minutes to warm up and 30 minutes to walk
  • motivation to do it, every day

Now look around. You’ll see people walking for fitness in every park, city streets, along the boardwalk, down a country road – even in shopping malls. You won’t be alone in your quest for better health! The popularity of walking for fitness is growing by leaps and bounds due to it’s ease, health benefits and low start up cost. In conclusion, walking is truly one of the best ways to get back into a more active lifestyle while positioning you on the path to a longer and healthier life.