For Women: Are 10,000 Steps a Day Necessary?

Today I am celebrating 24 years since I had open heart surgery. Yes!

Walking is a really personal gift to me.  What do I mean?  After my surgery, I asked my Cardiologist,  “what type of exercise can I do?”  He recommended that I walk, which seemed easy enough to do.

However, the truth was,  after the surgery I did not have the strength to walk across a street by myself. At that point, I promised myself and the forces that guide us that if given the future opportunity to walk, I would make sure to honor that ability.
Many years/steps later, I have tried to accomplish stepping to the tune of 10,000 steps a day, which turns out to be approximately 5 miles for most people (30 minutes of exercise).

Sooner or later in life, if you live long enough, there will be changes/challenges that you will need to confront and overcome.

With that said, , a visit where my chiropractor informed me that I should not try to accomplish this 10,000 steps as day task in one exercise routine because it is not helping the issues I have with my back. He suggested that I walk half as many steps in one session.  I was truly concerned.  How would I accomplish my 10,000 steps a day???

I was encouraged by a recent New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds. Her research revealed there is no scientific evidence connected with the 10,000 steps a day standard.  In fact, the 10,000 steps standard started in the 1960’s where a Japanese pedometer name translated as 10,000 steps. This coincidence established that guideline.

The good news is that a new study  conducted by Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of Medicine at Harvard University,  which collected data tracking the steps of older women (median age 72), showed that reducing the walk to 4,500 steps a day gives women 40 percent more chance of longevity, than women taking 2,700 steps a day. Other key things to note are speed walking is not a requirement, strolling is OK. Only the number of steps per day was studied. Results showed that this regimen of 4,500 steps per day advanced the well-being for women in the study.  Men were not included in this study.

With these findings, I was relieved to know that it is “moving” that is important.  Steps are a pretty easy way to get that done.  So, let’s keep “moving”,  and do our best to appreciate the opportunity we have to walk.  As you know, I consider it a privilege.  Let’s get stepping!

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/well/move/even-one-extra-walk-a-day-may-make-a-big-difference.html

 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/walking/why-is-walking-the-most-popular-form-of-exercise

Baby Boomers and Dementia

 

I recently had the benefit of attending a talk about dementia and how to plan and live with this challenging condition/disease.

Dr. Tia Powell has written a book, “Dementia Reimagined …” . She weaves  in some of  her personal story as a means of inviting us to have a conversation about this  life changing condition.  Both her grandmother and mother had dementia.

Just two startling facts I learned  are that  10% of  Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)  over the age of 65, and 50% of Boomers  85 and older  are expected to have some experience of dementia.  The longer we live, the more likely we may become subject to this condition/disease.

In addition, Dr. Powell discusses a positive approach to preparing to live with the possibility of dementia in our later years.  The glass is  half full and not a  more dismal half-empty outlook. She encourages us to “take on” this challenge to a life with “dignity and planning“.

We continue to learn on this blog that exercise is imperative to a more healthful lifestyle as an older adult.  Walking is one exercise that we can consider to aid in getting this done. It also keeps our brain in good shape.

spotlight-296834_1280SPOTLIGHT NEWS: Speaking of keeping our brains and body in good shape, I would like to share with you a brain and fitness website for those of us who are looking for other ways to keep our brains and body in good condition.   These exercises are also done sitting in a chair.  Some of the Ageless Grace tools focus on anti-age techniques for: right-left brain coordination, cognitive functions, and self-esteem.  The tools also focus on balance, bone density and playfulness.  It’s definitely worth  seeing what they have to offer at the website. AgelessGrace.com

Here’s a YouTube sample of Ageless Grace Exercises for you to enjoy!

 

Sources
https://www.tiapowellmd.com/
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101213006780/en/California-Seniors-Alzheimer%E2%80%99s-Disease-Projected-Increase-50

Continue reading “Baby Boomers and Dementia”

Smart Walking for Seniors

Once again there is good news about walking as an exercise,  which could be especially good for us seniors.  The newest information I read about this exercise is too good not to share.  That’s right.

For those of you who find it difficult to get exercise, ten minutes of mild exercise can benefit the brain by creating new cells and improve memory. This is certainly worth trying instead of being sedentary.  The exercise does not have to be intense either.  Are you feeling better about my news already?  I thought you would.  Although some of the tests referred to in the article were done on animals, it turns out that past studies also have shown that people with a larger, healthier hippocampus (essential for memory creation and storage) exercise regularly.

Not convinced?  Another study was conducted again by scientist on college students. This time the exercise was done for 10 minutes on bicycles at a gentle pace. It was very easy, according to the article. The students were given computerized memory test immediately after slow pedaling.  Then the students were given the same sequence on the bikes for 10 minutes; however, the testing took place inside an MRI machine, where their brains could be scanned.
Continue reading “Smart Walking for Seniors”

Taking a Time-Out from Exercise

I have to admit when I look at someone sitting in a hammock I immediately relax.  It’s a symbol for  instant gratification, reading a book, or daydreaming. It does not remind me of taking that 30 minute walk that I promised to do.  A few days ago, I listened to an orator who suggested that the 30 minute walk I take every day is an act of “selflove”. That’s right.  He said, it takes a lot of ‘selflove’ to exercise, when you really want to do something else. Many of us would not think about it that way.  Do you?

Let’s talk about what happens when you take a ‘time-out’ from exercise both for seniors and younger adults. I’m not referring to a day or two.  That might be OK, but if you do that for a few weeks, the consequences become much more pervasive.  Here are some of the benefits that exercising on a regular basis provides us with: works against Type 2 diabetes; heightened blood sugar; protects against heart disease; lowers “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.  As seniors, we are often reminded of these points by our doctors.  For younger people, it’s easier to reverse these issues.
I try to get close to 10,000 steps a day. This includes a 30 minute walk, which is about 4,000 steps.   During the course of the rest of the day, I try to get 6,000 more steps or close to it by moving every chance I get.
Continue reading “Taking a Time-Out from Exercise”

Stepping Seniors Formula for Best Walking

I am happy to report that finally there is a formula that can help us calculate our “brisk” walking exercise to give us the best health benefits!

Brisk” walking can now be calculated with a simple formula of  100 steps per minute!   For seniors it’s a good way to have in mind a way to calculate if our walking exercise will be beneficial.  For those of us 60 years of age or older, we may need to add more steps to this formula to satisfy the requirement, but this is a good start. And, of course, we can now go beyond 100 steps.  Presently, the federal guidelines advises 30 minutes of brisk walking.  That translates into 3,000 steps at the pace of 100 steps-per-minute. For those of you who want a more challenging exercise, you can try 130 steps per minute.

The study was conducted  by Catrine Tudor Locke, a professor of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  You can read about the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  It turns out that walking is the most common form of exercise.  So, feel free to continue to use your feet to do just that.

Let’s keep moving seniors

Read details ⇒ Source: https://www.nytimes.com/section/well/move

 

 

Walk your talk!

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21  years ago my doctors recommended and insisted that I had to have heart surgery. Yikes! So, an Open Heart Surgery was performed. Yes. They sawed me open and made of me a heart-healthy person.  I won’t entertain you with all the details, but, needless to say, the surgery was successful! ‘Cause I am here to walk my talk😎

It was after the surgery that I had an instance of Ms Oprah’s famous saying: an ‘AHA Moment’…!

I was out of the hospital. For all intents and purposes, the doctors did exceptional work. I would continue to live feeling better. However, I was so weak I could not walk across the street(!) I was still a young woman in my 40’s. I realized in that moment that walking is not an entitlement. It is a gift. I promised myself that I would walk again and looked forward to attaining the strength and ability to do so. walk-498070_1920

My cardiologist later advised me to walk as a way to continue exercising and that it would be enough to sustain the practice.

heart-914682_1920The American Heart Association advises that 10,000 steps a day is a good way to satisfy our minimal exercise commitment. It helps our mobility; positively influences issues with cholesterol, diabetes, memory,  and general well-being, including our weight level.

Why not take a leap toward a healthful day and step-up! Walk your talk.

Click the pictures for walking guidelines😎💕

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