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Fifty Sense: Common Sense Ideas for Thriving after 50
Fifty Sense: Common Sense Ideas for Thriving after 50

Walking: Getting Started

A walk on the beach

There is a big difference between walking around the block and fitness walking. The Outdoor Recreation Coalitions determined that walking is the fastest growing sport in the country. Not surprising, the typical fitness walker is over fifty as compared with the average runner being twenty-six. The popularity is due to many reasons. There is no equipment necessary, it is one of the easiest exercises on the body, you can do it alone or with friends, in any type of weather and any terrain.

Walking still can be challenging for the age advantaged. To get cardiovascular benefits, you need to walk faster than a stroll and do it consistently. It is important to start out slowly and learn stretching techniques to do before and after the walk. A pedometer is a great way to mark your progress once you can go further than around the block. Pick some favorite walks and if you don't know the mileage, use your car to get a good idea. The goal is to do at least three miles a day, five to six days a week to stay in shape.

Once you enjoy walking, you may want to challenge yourself more by signing up for a walk for charity. It is very important to build up the miles for this and don't expect to do ten or twenty miles without training. It can be done, though. Lillian Williams walked in the Susan G. Komen 3Day, 60 mile walk at the age of eighty and had never done a long distance hike before.

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