If you're a resident in our community, we want to inspire you with fresh, new ideas to help you take time for your spiritual, mental and physical well-being as often as possible. Your quality of life is important to us as, and keeping up mobility can be a big part of supporting that quality.
No matter what your age is, it's hard to stay moving in this day and age. With the boom in technology and convenience over the past 30 years alone, modern life has become increasingly more sedentary. In spite of this, finding ways to stay moving is easier than you may think. Here are some tips on how to stay moving and keep getting those steps in as an older adult.
If you spend a lot of time watching TV, this one may be perfect for you. If you're watching a program and it's time for "a word from our sponsors," utilize that time to get up and walk around the room.
This may seem overly simple or rudimentary, but if you do the math, you'll see how it can help you get your daily step count up: if the channel you're watching takes five commercial breaks an hour and you're able take an average of 70 steps per break, that's 350 steps per hour. If you watch TV for about three hours a day, that's 1,050 more steps you managed to incorporate into your day.
However, this may be harder for you if you're able to fast-forward through commercials. No cheating! Even if you don't walk around, use the time to get in some movement and stretch your bones. Additionally, if you predominantly watch your favorite shows via streaming rather than cable and don't really have to deal with commercials, get some movement in between episodes. Or, better yet, break up binge-watching sessions by determining to walk for 10 minutes after every episode or two.
Another great opportunity to get your step count up is while you're on the phone with a loved one. If you're talking to someone on a mobile phone, simply getting up and walking around the room while you talk to them can really add up. Going outdoors and getting a little sunlight as you talk can be even more rewarding.
This can be especially fun when the conversation is also stimulating. It may even help you focus more on what the other person is saying and keep you from getting distracted by trying to think of what to say next.
Sometimes, planning ahead is all you need to meet a certain goal. You can start small by implementing 5-minute breaks to simply walk around in between major tasks throughout your daily routine or errands. This helps you keep yourself moving and gives you a brief chance to gather yourself, clear your mind and become fully present before jumping into your next task for the day.
Setting an alarm on your phone may also help you take time to fit some extra movement into your schedule. Consider setting an alarm every few hours and taking a 10-minute walk whenever the alarm goes off. This helps you increase your step count and may also help improve your concentration.
Getting into the habit of walking every morning can enrich the overall quality of your day. Starting your day with movement can help you feel more energized while also improving your circadian rhythm (your body's sleep-wake cycle).
However, while one long daily walk can be highly beneficial to your physical and mental health, if you don't have the time and endurance for one, splitting it up into two shorter sessions in the morning and evening can be equally helpful. If you strive for two 15-minute walks throughout the day, you can easily fit an extra 1,000 steps in.
Interestingly, it's been shown that going for a walk in the morning, evening or both can help improve your sleep schedule, regulate blood sugar levels and even aid your digestion.
Most people can use a little extra hydration anyway, regardless of their age or exercise habits. Going out of your way to regularly sip some water can keep you hydrated while helping you get more steps in by forcing you to get up more to refill your cup. Staying hydrated is also crucial for weight loss and keeping your body functioning at its best.
Scheduling specific times for getting your steps in, taking opportunities in between tasks and activities, and frequent hydration trips. By incorporating little ideas like these into your daily routine, you can increase your step count by 5,000 steps a week or more. Look for opportunities throughout each day to get your body in motion and take them as often as you can. Your body will thank you for it.