Walking Anti Aging Exercise and its Benefits

Walking Anti Aging exercise is a smart choice.  According to the U. S. President's Council on Physical Fitness and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease and other scientific studies, walking as a regular exercise has been shown to:

  • lower your heart resting rate and thus reduce your cardiac risks
  • burn calories and reduce excessive body fat safely.
  • improve muscle tone (so you look better)
  • reduce your stress levels
  • improve your energy and mood. (Some studies show that walking can alleviate depression.) 
  • aids your cognitive function and preserves your memory (Stop those 'senior moments.')
  • help with balance and co-ordination so you are less likely to fall and break a bone. 

Is walking really an Anti aging exercise?

Yes walking anti aging exercise is real!   New York City Residents are a prime example of the benefits of walking. A few years ago pundits were surprised to learn that New York City residents live longer than than most people in the United States. A New Yorker who was born in 2004 is expected to live about 9 months longer than the average American AND the life expectancy in the New York city is increasing at a faster rate than that of the rest of the United States.  While the average person in the United States has added about 2.5 years to the life span since 1990, New Yorkers have added 6.2 years. 

Now you might not expect that. After all New York City has its problems with pollution, crowded streets and many residents live stressful lives.

BUT when Thomas Frieden, New York’s commissioner of public health was asked about these longevity figures, he noted that public policies do not really explain them. Instead he noted that New York is a CITY OF WALKERS. In fact, the American Podiatric Medical Association and Prevention Magazine have both designated New York as BEST CITY for this walking. Frieden also noted that New Yorkers do not  just 'amble' when they walk.  They move fast and hard....qualities that researchers say make for real body conditioning and better health.

See also Beth Israel Hospital on Walking as Anti-Aging Exercise

Of course you do not have to live in New York to benefit from walking anti aging exercise. Regular walking something almost anyone can do. (Of course before making any radical change in your exercise habits, you should consult your health care provider.)

If you live where the weather is very cold or very hot OR you live where the streets are not safe, you can start a walking anti aging exercise program right in your own home.  How? Easy. Begin by measuring the distance from one rooms to the room farthest from it. (For me it is from bedroom to kitchen). Then figure out how many times you need to walk this distance to cover 1/10 of a mile (a mile is 5,280 feet). Then walk every day. This same technique of walking indoors has been used by captured soldiers and detainees so they stay fit even when housed in small cells. You can adapt it to your own situation.  

But there is also the option of walking outdoors for those who live where the streets are safe. If you are going to start 'going for a walk' as part of your outdoor anti-aging exercise program, you may want to bring a timer or set your watch to ring after 10 minutes. Walk as far as you can in 10 minutes. When the alarm goes off, turn and return home. You may find that your return trip takes more than 10 minutes. OK, you slowed down a bit. 

When it takes you no more than 10 minutes to get back to your starting point, then you are ready to add a few minutes to your outward trip. If you plan to walk a half hour a day, you will do 15 minutes on the outward leg. When you reach your 15 minute limit, head back. 15 + 15 = 30 minute walk. 

What you may find is that with practice you may cover more ground in your 15 minutes but you are spending no more time on this particular anti-aging exercise program.  Of course you should check with your health care provider before starting any exercise program - even walking.

What to do, if you do not have extended time or a place for walking?

Some people find that during the work week they can not fit a formal program of walking into their day. Researchers are aware of the constraints of modern life and some have begun studying ways you can increase your physical activity without adding twenty or thirty minutes of special sessions of walking to your day.

There are a  number of 'workplace exercise programs'  to help people add more of  activity to their regular day. These programs target you work place and what they have found is that using a pedometer while at work is both motivating and it provides daily feed back about your activity level.

So using a pedometer is a way to check on how much movement you have in your daily life AND the use of pedometers seems to be motivate people to walk more. The pedometer makes it possible for you to track your daily distance and then add something at the end of the day if you find you haven't met your daily walking goals.

To read more about pedometers and their use to Walking :the pedometer approach

Click for more Anti-aging exercises or the HOME page

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