Strolling is an innate activity that most of us grasp during our early years. As we mature, various factors such as discomforts and soreness, foot pronations or supinations, and weaknesses can interfere with our natural walking gait. If you’re encountering unease during walking, a walking workout for seniors can aid in making this form of exercise more manageable and pleasant.
For example, if you spend a substantial amount of time seated, you may experience taut hamstrings. This can result in a tilt in your pelvis, exerting extra pressure on your lower back and resulting in pain when you stand or walk. To counteract the impacts of these disruptions and regain pain-free walking, it’s vital to reacquaint yourself with proper walking posture.
As per Liz Fichtner, a group fitness manager and instructor, the accurate way to walk involves lifting the shoulders, lowering the shoulder blades, engaging the core, slightly rotating the thoracic spine, and lifting from the heel. Even though dissecting the mechanics of walking might initially feel awkward, ensuring that each body part is flexible, mobile, and connected will help in refining your walking posture.
If the idea of commencing a regular walking regime seems daunting, integrating exercises akin to those in this walking workout for seniors can gradually assist you in progressing towards your targets. Fichtner proposes beginning by simply walking and becoming attentive to your physique and correct walking mechanics.
This 9-minute walking workout for seniors can be followed together with Fichtner in a video or undertaken independently. It concentrates on full-body muscle activation and mobility exercises, focusing on one body part at a time before amalgamating them into an ideal walking gait.
Here are the steps involved:
A 9-minute walking workout for seniors
Structure: Nine minutes of full-body muscle activation and mobility exercises, concentrating on one body part at a time before integrating all the movements to practice an ideal walking gait
Equipment required: Space to move around
Intended for: Seniors looking to stretch, mobilize, and activate their muscles before embarking on a walk
1. Locate your toes
Ensure a comprehensive range of motion in your foot by elevating your heel on the ball of your foot and shifting sideways from your big toe to your pinky toe.
2. Rolls for the forefoot
Raise your heel and roll onto the ball of your foot, sensing your toes. Alternate between lifting and rolling onto the balls of your feet, eventually progressing to a galloping movement.
3. Circular movements for lower body joints
Execute circular movements at your joints, initiating with ankle circles on each foot, then proceeding to knee circles, and ultimately hip circles. Sustain engagement of your core throughout these movements.
4. Swinging of arms
Stabilize your hips, engage your core, and gently swing your arms, alternating the arm positioned in front. Focus on the rotation in your thoracic spine, just above your navel.
5. Swaying of hips from side to side
Rotate your hips from one side to the other, allowing each side to sway forward one at a time. Maintain a fluid and relaxed movement.
6. Gait rehearsal
Fuse the core-connected arm swings with hip swaying from side to side, amalgamating the previous two exercises.
7. Elevation of legs
Practice raising your leg with a bent knee to ascertain the natural source of your power. Then, concentrate on propelling that knee lift from your heel.
8. Implementation of walking from the sacrum
Concentrate on elongating your upper body by lifting from your sacrum, situated at the base of your spine. This will aid in refining posture and expanding the chest.
9. Unite all the steps
Ultimately, practice walking with a lifted heel, an elongated spine, engagement of the core, and gentle swaying of the hips and swinging of the arms. Focus on the rotation through your thoracic spine and maintain a relaxed and tall posture.
Equipped with these exercises, you’ll be ready to relish pain-free walking. Remember to wear appropriate walking shoes before hitting the pavement or your selected walking surface!