Walking the walk … and keeping fit

There is a compelling case for exercising as we get older to help us keep fit and doing the things we love to do.

In this article I am providing some practical information about how you can access local walking groups when you are travelling around Australia, or get a personal walking plan you can follow wherever you are.

Remember to take water, wear sunscreen, sensible shoes and comfortable clothes. Walking is good for the heart.

The Heart Foundation says ‘walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 30 to 40%’.

Grey nomads go walking

You can build up to this, break the 30 minutes down into manageable chunks during the day, or walk for an hour one day and then have a day off. Walking poles If you are worried about falling or tripping, particularly if you are walking on uneven ground, walking poles can help give you stability and confidence and help you maintain a good upright posture when walking.

Walking poles are very popular with all ages and are available from all the large outdoor adventure stores. Look for poles that are adjustable in length and are light and collapsible. Find a Heart Foundation walk Joining a walking group can give you some variety and is an opportunity to meet new people and explore new places.

The Heart Foundation sponsors walking groups all over Australia. It’s free to participate and you don’t have to live in the area. Each walking group has a walk organiser whose role is to lead the walk and welcome new walkers.

To find a Heart Foundation walking group click on Heart Foundation walking groups and enter your location into the search field. This will bring up walking groups near you. Each walking group will provide information including the meeting point, time and day of the walk, the duration, speed (usually medium or slow) and whether it is dog friendly.

There will also be contact details for the walk organiser if you want more information or to talk about whether the walk is suitable for you. Personal Walking Plan If you don’t want to join a walking group or you want to combine walking in a group with walking on your own, the Heart Foundation also offers a free personal walking plan.

All you need to do is enter a few details into the website and the Heart Foundation will send you a six-week personal walking plan to meet your needs. The walking plan will include some strength building exercises as well as walking targets.

The Heart Foundation will occasionally send you motivational texts and emails to help you keep on track.

Happy walking!

  • Do you make walking an important part of your on-the-road fitness regime? Email us here to share your thoughts.

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