The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends that adults, including those age 65 and older, get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week, and that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes each day to see substantial health benefits.
Walking is a great way to meet those recommended guidelines, because it does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment.
Walking Benefits All Ages
Regardless of age, walking provides many health benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health, exercise can help you:
- Prevent or manage chronic illness
- Remain independent
- Maintain or lose weight
- Improve strength
- Improve balance or walking ability
- Manage feelings of depression or anxiety
- Maintain thinking skills
Make Walking Fun
Exercise may seem like a mundane task, but here are some tips for making walking fun, while incorporating it into your everyday schedule.
- Take the dog for a walk
- Play tag with the children
- Walk to work, school, or a friend's house
- Use chores to move more
- Walk at places you enjoy, like a park or shopping center
- Bring along a friend or family member to chat with
- Listen to some of your favorite music as you walk
It's great to encourage the whole family to get out and walk more. However, keep in mind the following safety tips, especially if you are walking alone.
- Walk with others when possible, and take a phone and ID with you
- Let your family and friends know your walking time and route
- If it is dark outside, make sure to wear a reflective vest or brightly colored clothing
- Be aware of your surroundings
- If you are listening to music, keep the volume low so that you can hear noises around you
About Doylestown Health's Heart Institute
Expert cardiologists and cardiac surgeons assist patients and physicians with managing risk factors for heart disease, offer advanced treatment options and provide outstanding emergency cardiac care. The multidisciplinary team at the Heart Institute is dedicated to providing the highest level of quality care and patient safety.
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