Walking: Anti-aging Exercise

Walking for your 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, it has been shown that it can:

  • lower your heart resting rate and so reduce your cardio risks
  • burn calories and reduce excessive fat safely.
  • improve muscle tone so you look better
  • reduce stress
  • improve your energy and mood. (Some studies show that walking even can alleviate depression<)/li>
  • aid cognitive function and preserves your memory (Stop those 'senior moments.'
  • help with balance and co-ordination so you do not fall and break and wrist or ankle.

Is just walking really an Anti-aging exercise?

Yes. And New York City Residents are a prime example of its benefits. 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 born in 2004 is expected to live about 9 months longer than the average American AND the life expectancy in the city is increasing at a faster rate than that of the rest of the country.

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. 

When Thomas Frieden, New York’s commissioner of public health was asked about these figures, he noted that public policy does not really explain it. 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 activity. Frieden also noted that New Yorkers do not 'amble'. They move fast and hard....qualities that researchers say make for conditioning and for better health.

Of course you do not have to live in New York to benefit from such exercise. It 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 your walking program right in your own home. Measure the distance across your rooms and figure out how many times you need to go this length (rooms and/or hallways) to reach 1/10 of a mile (a mile is 5,280 feet). Then walk every day. This technique has been used by captured soldiers and detainees to stay fit when housed in small cells. You can adapt it to your own situation.  

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

What if you do not have not the time or place for this?

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

A number  of 'workplace exercise programs' have studied how to help people add more of  activity to their regular day. These programs  target the work place and what they have found is that the use of a pedometer while at work is not only motivating but it provides each person with daily feed back about his or her activity level.

Using a pedometer is a great way to ensure you have enough movement in your daily life. AND the use of pedometers seems to be motivating. They make it possible for you to track your daily distance and then add something at the end of the day if you find you need more.

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

Click here for more Anti-aging exercises or the HOME page

If you have used walking as an exercise and would like to share your experience, please use the form below.  Since I use the same form at the end of all pages, PLEASE be sure to begin your comments by saying your comments are about walking or giving the url of this page. Thanks.

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