Living as a senior citizen comes with various challenges. Some mornings I wake up with a pain I did not have the day before. Other mornings, I find myself feeling a little anxious about an upcoming medical test, or just plain nervousness due to “who knows what?”
On occasion, my sleep is affected by nervousness (the latter occurrences). I do find, however, that taking a 30 minute walk calms me down; makes my aches and pains more manageable, and I also sleep better during the night.
- A recent study suggests that moving can enhance our sleep patterns, and, in this case, walking fits the bill. It turns out that we do not have to work out strenuously in order to gain the benefit of a good night’s sleep. Taking more steps during our monthly activity can give us better sleep quality. That’s welcome news for those of us who do not have the physical ability or time to do more intense routines.
- In past posts we also learned that walking can help those of us with arthritis feel better and reduce pain.
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.
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“.
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.
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 “self♥love”. That’s right. He said, it takes a lot of ‘self♥love’ 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.
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
In September 2016, I wrote a post about the benefits of walking. At that time the goal suggested by the American Heart Association was 10,000 steps a day (equal to 5 miles). Needless to say, for seniors this is not an easy task. Often we have issues with our knees. Arthritis, for example, is one of the many complaints. But the question is “have you started?” Continue reading
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.
My cardiologist later advised me to walk as a way to continue exercising and that it would be enough to sustain the practice.
The 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😎💕