Sunday, January 15, 2006

walking

Walking is one of the best ways for older people to keep fit. Establishing a routine of walking and sticking to it can assist with digestion, elimination, and circulation. Many older people prefer walking to jogging because it is safer. Most elderly people in good health walk as well as they did in youth and middle age, although with more deliberation. Some tend to walk more slowly, eyeing the ground for unevenness and pitfalls. Many older people may need the assistance of a cane or a person when walking. For the older person who is unsteady or has a visual handicap, having someone to point out curbs or holes in the sidewalk can be quite helpful.
Many older individuals find it easier to walk in a mall or indoor shopping center than out of doors. In a mall, it never rains or snows, the surface is level, and the environment is pleasant, frequently including music, temperature control, and seasonal decor. Neighborhood parks or streets with little traffic may also be a pleasant place to walk. If none of these places are convenient for walking, an inexpensive treadmill with sturdy rails can be purchased or rented. Many older individuals have become involved in the competitive sport of race walking for both recreation and exercise.
Rossman, I. Clinical Geriatrics, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1986.
Yanker, G., and Burton, K. Walking Medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1990.

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