Walking is one of the simplest and easiest ways to stay active, and with a low risk for injury, it’s a great option for seniors looking to improve their physical health. But how much should one walk to really see a significant difference in their health? While the number does vary from person to person depending on physical capabilities and their personal goals, a good number to shoot for when beginning to incorporate more walking into daily life is 10,000 steps per day. A great way to keep count? By using a pedometer.
After the American Heart Association released a recommendation for the average, heart-healthy individual to take 10,000 steps per day (roughly covering about 4 miles), the American public began to document and record their daily steps, thus resulting in an introduction of many new-fangled, fancy pedometers. They do everything from monitoring heart rack to counting calories to allowing users to navigate their walks with GPS systems. While these “smart watches” and “fitness trackers” can be a little intimidating, and not to mention expensive, they do what a basic pedometer does, but on a higher, more technologically advanced level. Yes, they look nifty, but they aren’t necessary to boost your activity. A simple pedometer and a daily goal is all a senior needs to step up their step count.
Ways to Add Steps to Daily Routine
1. Take walks in the morning and evening. A brisk ten minute walk around the block can add around 1,000 steps and boost circulation, increase the heart rate, and even improve the mood.
2. Make your bed daily. Walking from one side of the bed to the other to tuck in corners and fluff pillows can add up 300 or more steps easily!
3. Take steps during the commercials of your favorite TV shows. You can do this by stepping side to side or walking in place, and after an hour-long program, you’ll be impressed with how many steps you added up.
4. Consider a standing desk. If you like to spend time on the computer, think about investing in a standing desk. You’ll find yourself naturally shuffling from foot to foot as you stand there, logging steps all the while.
5. Find a buddy. Taking daily walks will help you achieve your step goal, and asking someone to join you on your walks will help pass the time. You’ll improve your health, and your friend’s as well!