We have all seen the elderly person walking down the sidewalk looking as though every step is painful. We have all been behind the senior walking into a store at a pace slower than we would like. Is this just an inevitable part of aging? The answer is no.
A recent study looked at people between the ages of 70 and 89 years old who considered themselves to be sedentary. These people were able to walk a quarter of a mile in under 15 minutes without assistance. Here’s how the study worked and what it found.
Half of the group of 1,600 individuals was given regular in-person training sessions involving health education and some stretching exercises. The other half were told to aim for 150 minutes of aerobic activity and to include flexibility, balance and strength training. The participants were followed for just over two-and-a-half years.
Results of the Study
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the second group were 25 percent less likely to spend time with a major mobility disability. The same study also found that exercising with regularity reduced the risk of becoming disabled. Walking was the cornerstone exercise of the study.
What It Means for You
You don’t have to be outrageously fit to lace up your sneakers and go for a walk. Walking is an exercise that can be done by almost anyone, with or without assistance. All you need is a good pair of shoes and a safe area – it really is that simple.
Government health experts recommend about 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week. You can split that up any way you like. If you’re the type of person that needs to exercise daily to make it a habit, walk for about 20 minutes each day. If you’d prefer to walk every other day, aim for between 35 and 50 minutes each time you walk.
Studies have shown that people who participate in regular physical activity are not only more fit, but they lower their risk for things like diabetes, heart disease, depression, certain cancers and cognitive impairment. You don’t need to walk fast or for miles and break a dripping sweat, you just need to get up and move.
For some people, an already-present physical ailment or problem with the feet is preventing them from taking up some sort of physical activity. If this is true in your case, taking care of that issue could be the first step in taking that first step.
If you are experiencing issues with your feet that are preventing you from not only being physically active, but fully enjoying your life, Dr. Elizabeth Auger is available to assist you. Dr. Auger is a podiatrist in Salt Lake City and has the experience necessary to diagnose your foot pain and offer treatment options. Reach out to her office today to schedule an appointment. You shouldn’t be off your feet a moment longer than you have to be.