|The correct way to do brisk walking.|
When I sold my Chrysler Alpine in 1998, I did not know at the time that it would be the last car I owned. I have not driven since, and have been depending largely on public transport and my own very reliable two feet to take me to my destinations. Together with rides from my friends, I can say it's definitely possible to survive in Kuala Lumpur without a car. I know many of my friends will disagree with me.
|It's not that difficult to chalk up 10,000|
steps a day on the pedometer.
I look at walking as good exercise. I walk to my neighbourhood supermarket to get my groceries, to the bank to do my financial transactions and to the post office to pay my bills. Sure, I can do most of these chores online, but that would reduce my daily dose of walking. If I do my errands early around 9 am or 10 am, I get the warm morning sunlight on my skin. That's free vitamin D.
Walking for hours in a shopping mall does not count as exercise as it is not continuous. To derive any health benefits from walking, it has to be brisk walking for at least 30 minutes and done on a regular basis.
I can't think of a better exercise for seniors than brisk walking. It is not as taxing on our knees as jogging or aerobics at the gym. It is free, apart from a small investment in a good pair of walking shoes. You can do it practically anywhere, alone or with friends or neighbours in your housing area. Back in the 1980s when I was a gym enthusiast, I did power walking either with light weight dumb-bells or ankle weights to strengthen my arm and leg muscles. But I wouldn't recommend this to anyone above 50.
|Nordic Walking session led by Mrs Jagjeet Singh|
There's also Nordic Walking, that is walking with a pair of sticks or poles to give the body a total workout. My good friend, Mrs Jagjeet Singh is the only certified instructor for Nordic walking in Malaysia. If you are interested to learn more, you can email her at email@example.com
|Getting ready to brisk walk for charity|
To add variety to your walking regime, participate in walking events that are open to the public. It is a pity the Malay Mail has stopped organizing the popular Big Walk. The inaugural Big Walk was held in 1960. I believe the last one in 2007 attracted more than 10,000 participants. It was one of my favourite sports events. These days there are so many charity walks that you can sign up for, and help a good cause as well. I took part in the Love PJ Run on 6 July. I chose to walk not run, and finished the 3 km route in a decent 20 minutes. My next one is the annual Terry Fox Run which raises funds for cancer research.
|Walking the dog gets you walking too|
Here's what Mayo Clinic has to say about the health benefits of walking:
Physical activity doesn't need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.
For example, regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones
- Lift your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
- The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
|For the elderly, a leisurely stroll in the park can be invigorating|
|Even a few slow steps daily with a walking|
aid can improve blood circulation and
strengthen leg muscles