Senior Independent Living – How to Walk Off Weight
Walking for seniors is a great way to incorporate physical activity and allow you to keep a pace that lets you enjoy conversation with other friends and family on your daily and weekly exercise efforts! Making the move to a senior independent living community facilitates the ability to get this accomplished!
1) Speed for Effective Walking and Weight Loss
Starting out, you may be able to only walk at a pace of 3 mph giving you a pace of 20-minute miles. However, by working up to a walking speed of 4.5 mph, you end up with 13-minute miles. The difference in the number of calories burned is 20 calories per mile. On a one hour walk, that is an additional 92 calories burned.
2) Distance Walking Tips for Seniors
It stands to reason that if you are walking faster for the same amount of time, that you will cover more distance. However, if you are just starting out, work on distance before speed. The advantage of increasing your distance first is that you build endurance, i.e. you are able to sustain walking at the same pace over a longer period of time. Once you have built endurance, you can work on increasing your speed.
3) Weight Issues for Seniors
A 120-pound person burns about 65 calories per mile walking at 3 mph on a flat surface. As a comparison, a 180-pound person walking the same distance and at the same pace burns about 95 calories. Numerically speaking, the above facts would lead you to believe that as you lose weight, you would most likely have to increase your energy expenditure to keep burning the same number of calories. However, what can happen is that as you become fit, your basal metabolic rate increases meaning you naturally burn more calories than you did before.
Healthy Eating for Senior Independent Living
The other half of walking off weight is to eat healthily. You can’t expect to lose weight by walking and then coming home and gorging yourself with food that is bad for you. Keep in mind that the candy bar you ate takes three to five miles of walking to burn it off!
A healthy diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, foods high in Omega 3 fats (such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts, and avocados) and lean meats.
Generally speaking, a woman should eat around 1,200 to 1,300 calories per day; a man 1,500 to 1,600 per day. This should put you on a weight loss of one pound per week. If you lose more than one pound adjust your calorie intake accordingly as you may not be eating enough calories.
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