No matter your age, walking is definitely the best exercise. It is so easy to do, that sometimes we forget how beneficial it can be.
There are no specials skills required, and it is available to most people.
Exercise Research on the Health Benefits Walking
Studies show that regular daily walking for exercise can make a major health difference in the life of a woman. After all, an old fashioned walk is your body’s most natural form of exercise.
And besides being one of the easiest, cheapest and safest things you can do to improve your health, walking is also probably the one of the most pleasant things you can do.
Plus, many in-depth research studies have shown that regular daily walking for exercise can significantly cut your risk of death in half (from any and all diseases!)
Walking at a moderate 3 mile per hour (mph) pace for at least three and a half hours every week (30 minutes a day) has been shown to dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hip fractures, glaucoma, osteoporosis, cancer, depression and many other health problems.
As a bonus, walking burns calories and can help you reach and maintain your perfect weight.
For example a 140-pound woman just walking at a moderate 3-mph pace can burn
• 111 calories in 30 minutes or
• 222 calories in 60 minutes of walking.
What are you doing for exercise? Is walking a part of your daily routine?
image credit: CJowers
AARP, a nonprofit organization for Americans aged 50 and older, first began in 1958. Today it ranks as “the second-biggest nongovernmental entity in the United States”, according to The New York Times. With over 40 million members, it has built an “unrivaled power base as the voice of older Americans”. Originally known as the American Association of Retired People, it changed its name to AARP in 2000. It lowered the age requirement from 55 to 50 in 1984. AARP’s mission, as stated on its website, is “to enhance the quality of life for all as we age”. Currently, AARP has offices in the 50 American states.
Membership in AARP is inexpensive–$16 per person as of 2010, with free membership for a spouse or partner. Membership includes many discount programs: car rentals, hotels, vacation packages, tours and product purchases. In addition, free subscriptions to “AARP The Magazine” and “AARP Bulletin” come with membership. AARP lobbies Washington on issues affecting senior citizens, and its website provides information on issues like health and politics.
AARP’s lobbying, in certain instances, has been viewed as a negative. According to The Rubins, a website for seniors, 70,000 members resigned in 2006 to protest AARP’s Washington influence in passing the Medicare Prescription Drug law; these members wanted Medicare to centralize prescription-drug purchasing. Another 60,000 members did the same in 2009 over AARP’s stand in President Obama’s health-care reforms. Many felt AARP should poll members’ views and lobby as results dictated.
One of the most frequent negatives expressed by members is the amount of marketing material received through snail mail and e-mail. The amount of brochures, letters and flyers selling their products can become overwhelming, especially just after joining.
Insurance: Pros & Cons
AARP offers many insurance products–including health, home, auto and motorcycle–which constitutes a pro. However, even though AARP markets these products as the cheapest, sometimes other insurance companies sell the same services for less.
- Start a weight training program. As you get older, you tend to lose bone mass. Weight training helps you maintain that mass, which will in turn prevent osteoporosis. If you’ve been weight training for 3 days a week, consider adding an extra day, and alternate the body parts. In other words, 2 days of lower body and 2 days of upper body. If you don’t want to work with weights, you can use fitness tubes and bands.
- Enroll in a Pilates class. As we get older, our posture more or less “devolves.” Pilates helps you maintain correct postural alignment, which will help you look younger.
Find low-impact alternatives for some of your aerobic activities. You might still be able to run, but not at the same intensity. Instead, engage in hiking in the warmer months, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
Purchase foam rollers. They are a cross between flexibility exercise and a massage.
Practice sports that require agility, such as tennis and basketball. They will help keep you mentally alert.
Join groups of fitness-minded people in their 50s. It will help you stay motivated.
This is our 8 year plan to reach financial stability and or freedom . As the title of the blog states, we are counting down to the first year of our 6th decade. In plain terms.. when we hit the big SIX ZERO!! Right now, eight years seems like a long way away, but you and I both know time just flies by before you know it.
This blog will document our journey to semi-retirement status. I say semi-retirement because I will probably always work at something. My husband will be happy to retire and complete projects around the house.
Again, welcome to “Count Down to Sixty”!