Walking for daily exercise is low-impact, safe and free. It can also improve cardiovascular fitness and strengthen muscles and bones.
Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults (65+) recommends accumulating at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week to achieve health benefits and improve functional abilities.
Stay safe while walking
- Choose a familiar route that is flat and free of obstacles.
- Consider the surface you’ll be walking on. A smooth, soft surface that’s free of debris will put less strain on your joints and feet.
- Wear supportive footwear – wear low-heeled footwear with non-skid soles.
- Avoid rushing – rushing increases your risk of falling. Take you time.
- If using a walking aid (e.g. cane or walker) ensure that it is fitted for your height.
- Be extra careful in cold weather — sidewalks and paths can be slippery.
- Cold weather can cause numbness and make it difficult for you to feel any pain or an injury. When it’s cold outside, consider walking in an indoor place, like a mall or community fitness centre.
- Walk with friends or a walking club.
- Carry a cell phone in case of emergencies.
- Dress appropriately for the weather and drink plenty of water.
- Stop or take a break if you feel any pain during your walk.
- Consult a health care provider if pain continues after your walk.