Exercise & Fitness

Taking Steps Toward Good Health

No one is too old to enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity. There is clear evidence that regular muscle-strengthening exercise can reduce the risk for older adults of falling and fracturing bones and can improve their ability to live independently.

Key Points

  • If you are usually inactive, you can improve your health and well-being by becoming even moderately active on a regular basis.
  • Physical activity doesn't have to be strenuous to achieve health benefits.
  • You can continue to gain health benefits by increasing the amount (duration, frequency, or intensity) of physical activity.
  • Becoming moderately active on a regular basis reduces the risk of developing diabetes, colon cancer or high blood pressure; helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; reduces feelings of depression and anxiety and helps control your weight.
  • Walking is free and you do not need to belong to a health club or buy special equipment to do it. You can do it when it’s convenient for you and you can proceed at your own pace, gradually building strength and endurance and improving your health.

Get Walking!

  • Walk instead of driving whenever you can.
  • Take a walk after dinner.
  • Walk to your place of worship instead of driving.
  • Get a dog for companionship and go walking together.
  • Replace your Sunday drive with a Sunday walk.
  • Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV.
  • Meet friends on Saturday mornings for a walk instead of breakfast.
  • Walk briskly in the mall.
  • Park farther from your destination so you can walk.
  • Walk instead of sitting on the porch.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • When walking, go up the hills instead of around them.

Sources: www.cdc.gov & www.hhs.gov

  • Last updated: 02/08/2013
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