Carol Watson, MD, a cardiologist and co-director of the UCLA Preventive Cardiology Program, says the best exercise for people over 50 is walking. That’s because, as simple as it is, walking is the most basic, universal workout that virtually anyone can do. “Best way to start [with an exercise program] with regular walking,” she says. In fact, she says walking is just as beneficial as any other form of cardio
“Walking has the same health benefits as more intense exercise such as running,” says Dr. Watson. The difference? “You may gain benefits faster than, say, running, but the benefits are the same.” Your heart rate increases: Check. Your legs are moving and you’re working all your muscles: check and check. The ingredients are all there, but walking is the most accessible, low-risk exercise for older fitness goers. “Walking is accessible to most and is associated with lower rates of injury,” she says. Compared to many other workouts, it’s much easier on the joints because it’s low-impact (unlike running, where you’re pounding the pavement).
Just because walking is so easy means it doesn’t have to be boring. there innumerable Ways to spice up your step. Dr. Watson recommends starting at a slower pace and then working your way up to a faster pace. His tip? “Try to go to the tempo of the song.”stay alive’.” So you can do a power walk, or stream a walkout to guide you. You could walk on an incline to factor up the resistance. Holding weights can add an arm exercise to your stride, or you can also try Nordic walking, which engages more than 80 percent of your muscles.
Before you lace up, however, Dr. Watson recommends checking with your doctor. “If you have a medical condition, always check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program,” she says. Other than that, OG low-impact workouts are yours for the taking. *Play the song’walk this way”*
To help you keep track of your walking workout, check out the video below to learn about the world of heart rate monitors: