By Paul Cole
Fit After 50
The most important part of a workout or a walk around the block is just doing it. Of course you want to look good "just doing it," but you also need to feel good as well. Below are some helpful hints to looking good, but more importantly, feeling good and making others feel good on your quest for fitness.
You don't need to spend a fortune on workout gear, but do invest some research in your footwear. Feet are funny things. Some are narrow and long, while others are nearly as wide as they are long and may even appear square. Some have high arches, low arches or no arches at all.
Your choice of exercise shoes can mean the difference between great workouts and walks over a lifetime or a painful short-term memory of when you "tried" to workout or walk but stopped because of those lousy shoes in the back of your closet.
Ask die-hard runners or fitness trainers where to buy good shoes. Find a reputable seller who shows concern about your purchase, habits and feet, and not some teenybopper trying to sell the latest brand, named after a ball player whose name you can't pronounce.
Also, buy shoes that fit. One way to ensure this is to shop for shoes in the evening. Your feet swell during the day and are at their largest at the end of the day. In addition, buy breathable cotton athletic socks and wear them while you are shopping. The thickness of the sock can make a difference in the fit.
The best workout or walking attire is the clothing in which you feel most comfortable. We don't mean boxer shorts or those pajamas with the purple elephants on them. Leave those at home.
We do mean loose-fitting clothing that doesn't bind or pinch when you move. Shorts, sweat pants and T-shirts are the recommended fare, but even the loose-fitting three-button, short-sleeve shirts will work. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but make sure you have a comfortable, full range of motion because you will be moving.
Monitors and -ometers
You would like to think every time you go for a walk you are receiving an excellent workout. How do you know?
If the answer is "Well, I feel better and I did the whole route," may not be good enough.
Heart rate monitors are a useful tool that can assure we are getting the most workout for our time spent walking. In order to gain the benefit from a cardio-type workout, our heart rate must be raised and maintained, within a certain number of beats per minute, for at least thirty minutes a day.
We can monitor it the old-fashioned way by stopping and taking our pulse for 10-seconds, then multiplying that by six, or we can check our monitor, which looks like a standard wrist watch, and have constant access to our healthful information.
How far did you walk today? That's not always an easy question to answer. If you are wearing a pedometer, the information could be sitting on your hip. Pedometers are an easy way to determine how far you have walked in a workout, day, week, month and even a year. You can keep strict records of your daily progress or just wear it for fun.
Consider this: you could slim your hips using a pedometer you clip to your hip.
These and other helpful devices are found in athletic stores, or ask your nearest personal trainer where to pick them up.
Paul Cole is a certified fitness instructor and owner of Fit After 50 in Indialantic. Contact him at (321) 777-3534 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.