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On June 26, 2012, Posted by , In General Information,Home Care, By ,, , With Comments Off on Farmington Hills, MI Home Care Services

Walking Highly Recommended for Seniors: Some Things You Should Know

If you’re an older adult who hasn’t been active in recent years, one of the easiest ways to ease back into activity is walking – the most basic exercise there is, yet, highly touted by the American Heart Association and other health experts. It can be done by almost everyone, almost anywhere, and it can have a major positive impact on your health and happiness.

Numerous recent studies have shown that walking as few as 10,000 steps per day leads to better health, with benefits like lower blood pressure, weight loss and better heart rates. Regular walking has also been shown to improve memory and prevent diabetes.

Before beginning a new walking exercise program, it’s a good idea to visit your primary care physician for a check-up for information about your health and/or any problems that need to be addressed. The physical will also provide a baseline for measurement of the health benefits of your walking program, such as heart rate, weight, blood pressure, etc.

How to choose walking shoes

There is no “best” shoe, only the shoe that fits the individual the “best” – one that offers the correct support, flexibility and cushioning and helps compensate for specific problems a person may have, like a very high arched foot or a very flat foot.

Here are 10 tips to consider when buying walking shoes:

1. Seek help from a footwear expert to help find a shoe that is both long enough AND wide enough for the foot – both length and width are equally important for perfect fit.

2. Your shoes should match your weight, walking stride, distance, speed and surface.

3. Walking shoes should have a good heel counter – without flare of the heel of the shoe. A shoe with ankle padding will help keep your heel snugly in place.

4. Shoes should hug the heel so that the heel of the foot doesn’t ride up and down in the shoe and the foot is held securely by the shoe.

5. The shoe should be flexible at the forefoot to allow the shoe to “bend” with the foot to afford the ability to roll easily over the forefoot.

6. Individuals with past and/or present foot, ankle and/or lower extremity and back problems may have special needs and should consult with their PTs about shoe options.

7. Proper lacing of the shoe is important. Your shoe-fitting expert or physical therapist may be able to help you with a lacing technique that will keep a walking shoe from slipping on the heel and prevent constriction of the shoe over the top of the foot. Or, try another shoe!

8. When buying shoes, wear the type of socks you plan to wear when walking and try on shoes later in the day when your feet may be larger.

9. Remember to bring any custom orthotics and/or shoe inserts when trying on shoes so that they may be fitted into the shoe to determine overall fit and comfort.

10. Don’t tolerate any rubbing or areas of the shoe that may be “pressing” on your foot – do not buy walking shoes with the thought that you will “break them in.” The only thing that will be broken in is YOUR FOOT!

Consider a pedometer

Pedometers count the number of steps you take. Select a pedometer that may be placed anywhere – on a belt or waistband of your pants, around your neck, on your shoe, or in a pocket or bag. Every time you take a step, the pedometer will record it and track the number of steps you take.

Most importantly, a pedometer is fun and will provide information that will allow you to set goals and then track and measure progress toward your health and walking targets. Women should take approximately 15,000 steps a day, and men approximately 18,000. This is the equivalent of about 30 minutes of continuous walking, or short walks throughout the day when walking from the back of the parking lot, taking the stairs, walking the dog, or strolling through the shopping mall.   

Last but not least…

Take every opportunity to walk instead of drive, walk the perimeter of the big box store before you begin shopping, walk around the block in the morning and again before it gets dark. Take the stairs. When you have the opportunity to take a step – DO IT!

Source:  www.seniorjournal.com

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Farmington Hills or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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