I walked 35.68 miles last week. How do I know that? I wear a Fitbit Activity monitor. The daily and weekly totals spur me on. How active is the senior in your life? If you, your spouse, or your elderly parents are not physically active you need to know that inactivity has dire consequences.
An activity monitor is not just a toy for people who fancy themselves to be “jocks,” but a handy tool to keep sedentary individuals moving. Americans are way too sedentary, and seniors are no exception.
The fitness experts tell us that everyone should strive for 10, 000 steps a day, which is quite a lot. Without the help of my friends, my dogs and sheer determination I wouldn’t be able to make it, and I don’t even have a day job. For many 10,000 steps is too intimidating. What happens if you can’t walk that far?
How much walking is enough? You might find the article by Marianne Wait in the latest Arthritis Today magazine (January/February 2015) a little more believable. The author did her research and found studies that suggest that 6,000 steps is enough. This is good news for those of you who simply cannot make10, 000 because of age or chronic illnesses. This doesn’t let you off the hook of course, 10,000 is still the ideal and the closer you can get to that number the better. (WWW.ARTHRITIS.ORG) is an encouraging site for people of a certain age or with chronic afflictions.
Wear a pedometer or an activity monitor all day long, because even unstructured steps count. Before you know it you will be trying to figure out how to add more steps to your total. Little steps count:
- Walk around during commercials or when talking on the phone.
- Instead of fussing because nobody offers you seats on the bus remember that standing up is good for you.
- Don’t just drop the grandkids off at the athletic field or sit in the bleachers while they practice, this would be a good time for you to walk.
- Skip the drive thru and walk into the bank, the coffee shop or the pharmacy.
- Don’t drive around for half an hour to find a parking place in the first row.
- Take the stairs even if you have to pause at each landing.
How many steps did you take today?