“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Ever hear this old axiom of health? But is an apple enough? Try adding in a 15-minute Power Walk (aka brisk stroll) in the mornings and evenings each day. Studies show that one 15 minute stroll reduces early death in older adults and corrects a slowing metabolism. Youthfulness is as much an attitude as it is a function of your daily routine! So let’s dig out those soft, worn sneakers and head out to meet the neighbors!

As much time as it talks to stand in line at the bank to deposit money into your checking and saving accounts, is all the time it may take to increase your heart rate, build a little perspiration across your brow and is like kryptonite to the Grim reaper. We tend to follow habits but habits formed tend to be bad, most of the time! Enforcing one positive habit leads to more good habits and this is the curse you put on the guy with the sickle and black gown! Sinister, isn’t it? You can thumb your nose at the King of the non-living by living it up a little with some motivated adherence to health.


When you grow older, bones can become brittle and the muscles shorten. An elderly person can lose the balance and coordination that they have had their entire lives. Staying active helps keep the body flexible. Stretching routines will lengthen muscle tissue and help prevent wasting and shortening. Exercise can reduce incidents of arthritis and osteoporosis by increasing bone density and joint range of motion, and exercise is also essential to maintaining a healthy heart in later life:

“Regular exercise helps to keep the heart muscle in shape and can ward off common cardiac problems. Exercising at even a light intensity will raise the heart rate and improve overall fitness. Cardiovascular training for the elderly increases respiratory intake and helps fight common illnesses, such as a cold or the flu. blocking of arteries with higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), can occur when you grow older. Exercise can help reduce the risk by lowering blood cholesterol.” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/Good-vs-Bad-Cholesterol_UCM_305561_Article.jsp#.V2rsoPkrLq4

Health experts have long recognized the fact that regular exercise can extend lifespan, but the new research indicates that even less exercise than previously believed is needed to achieve significant benefits; walking for just 15-20 minutes per day can reduce the risk of early death by 22 percent. http://www.cancer.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/PhysicalActivityLifeExpectancy. Good news if you for those of us with Obamacare! We might need to eat two apples since the doctor we like and wanted to keep is now the next state over and has a waiting list of next July. Keeping up with health is a goal of most and now it can be the reward of many.
While some may think that health is a luxury they just can’t afford, new research shows that it just went on sale at a bargain basement price. That’s right! According to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) currently recommends two and a half hours of moderately vigorous exercise per week for older people, but the 105 weekly minutes of walking time at 15 minutes per day produces similar results, according to the latest research.

Dr. David Hupin, at the University Hospital of Saint Etienne, France, said: “Age is not an excuse to do no exercise. It is well established that regular physical activity has a better overall effect on health than any medical treatment. But less than half of older adults achieve the recommended minimum of 150 minutes moderate intensity or 75 minutes vigorous intensity exercise each week. https://consumer.healthday.com/fitness-information-14/misc-health-news-265/15-minutes-of-daily-exercise-reduced-the-risk-of-early-death-711867.html


Doing something is far better than doing nothing at all-  A simple stroll around the block or around the local school football field can also prevent you from cracking open a cold one or popping some kettle corn and watching Netflix. There are even more inventive ways to enjoy your walk. Some people have meet ups and they bring a canine to help set a pace. As long as Sparky isn’t as good at sitting and ling down as you are, you are on the right path, so to speak.



Bring your camera or smart phone and capture the magical moments of your journey-  There are always new things encountered with each stroll you take. I reminisce the days living in Los Angeles when I saw public figures walking the Hollywood Hill trails. I could have gotten a side job as a roaming reporter for TMZ! Walking is the most accessible physical activity, and the most popular. Walking is a free, gentle, low-impact activity that requires no special training or equipment. Almost everyone can do it, anywhere and at any time. It is easy to start slowly and build up gradually, as well as being the ideal exercise to fit around everyday life. It therefore addresses many of the reported barriers to being more active, such as lack of time, money, poor health and physical limitations.

Become a goal setter, as one wise man often said, “get er’ done!”-  Many people may find themselves giving up because they can’t meet the recommended guidelines, but 15 minutes per day, which can also include activities such as riding a bicycle or weeding the garden may be a more realistic and attainable goal.

Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for people of all ages, but for older people it becomes even more crucial in terms of dealing with changes in the body that occur with aging.

Daily exercise will not only help you to live longer, but will also increase the quality of your life; you’ll feel better and live life to the fullest!


~Nikki Fuller