Many of us are motivated to level up our activity during the summer because of the longer days and nice weather but heat and the searing sunlight can quickly put us at risk of overheating, sunstroke, and more.
Fortunately, we don’t have to give up staying active during the summer months thanks to low-impact walking workouts. By controlling the intensity of our workouts, limiting the time spent in the sun, and easily mixing up routines we can stay fit without straining ourselves.
Below are some tips and tricks, and our 3 favorite walking workouts that seniors of all activity levels can try.
How to Stay Safe During Workouts
Because of the intense heat and UV rays coming from the sun, it’s vital that you prepare yourself beforehand for your workout to ensure you’re always safe and comfortable. Some ways to do this include:
- Keep track of current temperatures before walking.
- Remember that the hottest parts of the day are usually from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.
- Stick to familiar routes that are free of obstacles or rough terrain if walking outside.
- Do an indoor workout in a cool, spacious room in your home.
- Take more than enough water to hydrate you.
- Take small snacks if needed to help prevent any dizziness or low blood sugar.
- KNOW YOUR LIMITS! Don’t push yourself too hard.
- TAKE YOUR PHONE WITH YOU! You never know when you may need to contact someone. Your loved ones should also know where you are all the time.
3 Walking Workouts for Older Adults
1. 30-Minute Power Walk
Power walks are a great workout because they allow you to get in a full, intense workout without putting stress on your joints. To do a 30-minute power walk, you’ll want to start off with a 5-minute warm-up at a slower pace, and then gradually increase to your normal pace.
For the next 15 minutes, you’ll want to work with intervals, increasing your speed with bursts up to 3-4 miles per hour, and then slowing back down to your normal pace. Don’t forget to swing and move your arms also during your walk to burn extra calories.
For the final 10 minutes, you’ll want to cool down and stretch. Make sure to give yourself a water break and check that you’re not overheating, dizzy, or nauseous.
2. 30-Minute Steady-pace Walk
Don’t underestimate how effective a steady-paced walk can be! For this one, all you need to do is maintain a consistent speed, include some arm movement (swinging, bicep curls, etc.), and wear shoes that are comfortable enough for long distances.
What’s great about steady-paced walks is that you’ll cover more terrain in 30 minutes than you’ll realize because your body will be comfortable with the consistent speed, even in the heat. So, feel free to pick a scenic trail or park that you haven’t visited yet, set your timer, and walk on!
3. Low-impact Indoor Walk
Walking in place indoors is just as effective as walking through a trail outside! An indoor walking workout can take up anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes of your day and involves low-impact routines with moves like high knees, marching, shifting your weight from side to side, and much more. By adding in arm movements and lively music, you’ll get in a pleasurable full-body workout without ever stepping foot into the heat.
To do a quick indoor walk, all you have to do is time yourself while you walk in place, and switch up your movements every 30 seconds or a few minutes as long as you’re comfortable. Take breaks occasionally to drink water and catch your breath if needed.
Don’t be afraid to mix things up!
Finally, the great thing about these workouts is that you can mix them up with some fancy stepping or equipment when you’re in the mood. By adding things like light weights, crossover steps, and more, you’ll keep your workouts fresh and motivating, no matter how sweltering the summer days get. Now, get out there, invite a friend, have fun, and stay safe!
Why Walking is Great for Seniors’ Physical and Mental Health
Benefits of Walking for Older People