Walking my way to stronger bones

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I love being out in nature and so I walk around an hour every day.  This is fine in many ways.  Walking like this means I am getting fresh air, gentle exercise, and natural daylight.  It is also good for mental health. But I do tend to stop to ‘smell the roses’, ‘for what is life if full of care we have no time to stop and stare’ (WH Davies).  In my case, it is not so much roses as birds, squirrels, flowers and if I am really lucky some wildlife spectacle.  The other day for instance, I saw a bird of prey carry a baby rabbit off in its talons.

However a recent bone scan has convinced me that as far as my bone density is concerned, there is still some room for improvement.  I went to my doctor to discuss doing some more aerobic exercise with a view to strengthening my bones.  She agreed and suggested doing some power walking for 30 minutes five times a week.  I might also she suggested, try some exercises using weights.

Full of enthusiasm, I went out next day and bought a pair of ‘running’ trainers.  Since then I have been discovering just how beneficial power walking is for your health.  Here are some of the amazing benefits of this way of exercising:-

  • Power walking burns as many calories as running but it is not as hard on your joints.
  • Power walking is aerobic, that is it improves the efficiency of your cardiovascular system. Your heart is a muscle and needs exercise to keep it healthy and strong.  Also by improving the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, you help lower blood pressure and by boosting circulation you also reduce your risk of strokes.
  • Power walking reduces LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol while increasing HDL (‘good’) cholesterol
  • As well as strengthening your bones (the main reason I am power walking) power walking lubricates your joints.
  • Power walking ‘burns off’ the stress hormones and so reduces stress.
  • Power walking reduces the risk of some cancers.

If you want to give power walking a try, I would urge you to get a good pair of ‘running’ trainers.  Other than that, power walking is free!  Do a few warm up stretches before and after.  Your hamstrings will get tight! Do not be tempted to do more than the recommended amount as this is of no greater benefit and may even be detrimental.  A good way to stay motivated is to get a walking ‘buddy’(in my case my daughter) who will spur you on if you are flagging. 

I still walk my ‘smell the roses’ walks but feel that power walking is a good addition to my exercise routine.  My scan next year will reveal how much benefit it is to my bone density.    

Be healthy, be happy 
Janet x

Article Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

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