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Recommended Steps Per Day For Seniors

Health Benefits of Walking

Before jumping into how many steps you need to take each day, let’s have a quick look at the benefits of walking as an exercise to boost your motivation.

Because walking is not a vigorous exercise, it heavily relies on consistency and length to provide the results you desire. To enjoy the benefits of walking, you need to spend at least 30 minutes a day or more walking.

Walking consistently and regularly has numerous benefits, which include:

  • Improves pulmonary and cardiovascular fitness
  • Reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease
  • Helps to manage various conditions like high cholesterol, muscular and joint pain, diabetes, high blood pressure and stiffness
  • Helps to maintain bone density and strength
  • Increased strength and endurance
  • It’s also an effective way to reduce body fat

You don’t always have to start with the recommended 30 minute-minimum walks. If you’re not able, you can start lower, and as your fitness levels improve you can slowly work your way up. After all, some activity is better than no activity.

What is a Pedometer and why do you need it?

For seniors, the most effective way to measure how much work you're putting in throughout the day is by counting the number of steps you take. This is an excellent approach because you might not be able to consistently workout for 30 minutes straight, take rests in between.

A pedometer is a digital device that helps you keep track of how many steps you take throughout the day. The device monitors your activity and records your number of steps. At the end of the day, you can see the number of steps you took and adjust accordingly.

How many steps are day are recommended for seniors?

There's no specific number of steps that you should take each day. Understandably, different people have different activity levels, which is why the recommended number of steps varies depending on age and activity levels.

  • Seniors that are below 65 years are still quite active and agile. On a minimum, those within this age bracket should go for at least 3,000 for those with the least active lifestyle. Those that are averagely active can put in up to 7,000 steps and the most active can go for 11,500 steps.
  • Seniors that are aged 65 years and over might have more problems with mobility. Don't push yourself too hard. Just moderate enough for you to reap the benefits without aggravating your joints and muscles. In this age group, 3,000 steps is recommended for the least active while 7,000 and 10,500 steps are recommended for the averagely active and most active seniors, respectively.

You can distribute these steps through the day to work them in slowly. If you're starting out, it's best to talk with your doctor so that they can recommend the best shoes and attire for your walks. This is to keep you comfortable and help you pick a reasonable goal based on your medical history and physical condition.

How to Increase the Number of Steps You Take Per Day

Whether you're unhappy with the number of steps you're currently taking, or you feel more comfortable adding a few more steps into your daily routine, these tips will help you become more active without overworking your body or forcing you to wake up at the crack of dawn for a morning walk.

  • Take the dog for a walk – If you have a dog, you can take it for walks. Having a pet to keep you distracted and engaged can help you walk longer and with more ease. If you don’t have a dog, you can volunteer to take the dogs at an animal shelter for walks.
  • Bring in some friends – Get a few friends to tag along on your morning walks. You can provide each other with moral support that will help you achieve your fitness goals and live a longer, healthier life.
  • Music is a great motivator – You’ve probably seen joggers running around with earphones. A bouncy tune can give you some much-needed motivation to walk faster and farther.
  • Run more errands in person – It’s easier to drive to the local post box to send a letter than walking there, however, it’s more beneficial to walk. Use these opportunities to sneak in some extra steps through the day.
  • Park farther away – When you go for your weekly food shop, go to work or even to a friend's house, park your car a few yards away and cover the rest of the distance on foot. If you take the bus, you can also alight a stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Take the stairs – Ditch the lifts or escalators and take the stairs. Taking the stairs will give you a great cardio workout and help you burn calories. However, if you have any joint problems, it’s best to consult with your doctor before you decide to start tackling the stairs.

Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay active. How far you go today will depend on what your starting point was and how aggressively you're taking the challenge. It's crucial that you remain comfortable during the workout. So, make sure you invest in the right shoes and attire.