WALKING IS THE BEST MEDICINE
Stamina is the ability to keep going without getting breathless or distressed. If you want to learn more about stamina look at the module in the Academy for Better Ageing and it will explain how stamina is maintained and improved at any age not by changing the lungs or even the heart but by changing the whole of the system that you have for moving oxygen from the lungs to where it is needed.
The single best way of maintaining and improving stamina is brisk walking namely walking just so that you can sense there is a change in your breathing. This is sometimes called moderate intensity exercise. You will still be able to carry on a conversation, but you will know that you are doing something. The experts have moved away from recommending ten thousand steps a day as a target to recommending at least ten minutes a day of brisk walking or, preferably, thirty minutes a day brisk walking which can be taken in three bite-sized chunks. If you can’t manage thirty do twenty. If you cannot manage twenty do ten. If you cannot manage ten do five. If you cannot manage five do two, the key thing is to walk briskly.
Perhaps the best equipment to help you walk briskly is an app produced by Public Health England and the NHS.
The NHS England One You Programme was set up to encourage people to build little bits of exercise into their daily life using the app that you can find at www.nhs.uk/oneyouand if you download this onto a phone it will check if you are walking briskly or not. Of course there are a range of electronic devices to help you monitor your exercise and they can tell you how much you are doing and how long you are doing it for but the OneYou app is probably the simplest best app for people sixty and beyond.
HOW COULD YOU USE THIS KNOWLEDGE TO ACHIEVE YOUR OWN OBJECTIVES?
- Start your brisk walking programme; even if you can only do one or two minutes do it three times day; if you can do ten minutes three times a day do that
- Download the One You app at www.nhs.uk/oneyou
- Make sure you have good walking shoes; trainers are good, and look cool
HOW COULD YOU USE THIS KNOWLEDGE IF YOU ARE SUPPORTING SOMEONE ELSE?
- Take them for a walk and tell them about brisk walking; still able to converse but they know they are walking faster than usual!