SO, being a physical therapist for over 25 years, I have heard it all in regard to what people do to stay active and fit……It is no news flash that the older you get, your metabolism typically slows down, you typically gain weight and soften up through the mid-section (feel my pain?), and it is tougher to lose weight. All this makes for problems as you grow older.
As I wrote last week, IF you are suffering from arthritic knees and hips, biking is a GREAT way to go to alleviate the pounding of those joints and for me, I feel like I actually moved and travelled somewhere, compared to my short run distances. BUT, what if you have been inactive, for whatever reason, whether recent surgery, or just sedentary job kept you inactive, or well, like me you can just be plain lazy at times?? I KNOW many people 45+ who fear just starting to get back to working out, as they fear aches and pains returning, feeling like they will not be able to do what they used to do, feeling like it is too late to start and for some, just questioning, “what’s the use?”
Well, let me give you a quick reason WHY you should stay active, or get active. There are two key factors that have the most influence on longevity. We will focus on the first one which is VO2 max, which simply means your level of fitness. (FOR the shocking answer to the second key factor email me at Dean@volkpt.com, and I will let you know what it is because you will NOT believe it!!!! Take a guess, and IF you get it correct I know you will have cheated!!) The first factor, and most important one, VO2 max, simply is a measure of how well your body consumes oxygen, which can ONLY be improved by activity, aerobic type activity where your heart rate increases. There is debate over the best and fastest way to improve the way your body consumes the oxygen available, but for our purposes, ANY activity right now is better than none, or a little more is better than a little.
IF working out or doing “aerobics” sounds intimidating to you, YOU are NOT alone!!!!..SO, how about this easy to perform, no equipment needed, just some space, preferable open area with little obstacles. Ready for it?? Wait for it………..WALK – that’s it, WALK!!!!! Keep it simple and to get the “best” out of your walk, work up to a 30 minute walk AND to improve it even further……..alternate paces for 3 minutes a time, with a slightly increased pace after warming up slowly and alternate faster pace to normal and repeat for the 30 minutes. You WILL BE amazed at what a simple easy, alternating paced walk WILL DO for you!!!!
SO, there you have it – the easiest work-out I know, it is cheap, it is easy, it is doable and you will be amazed as how much better you feel after 1 week of consistent walking!!!!