All of us walk, well most of us walk, but how many of us walk at a brisk rate? I know, as people age, their walking pace often slows down, in part due to overall fatigue and in part due to a fear of falling. That’s okay, and as long as we stay active, it is okay to slow down a bit as we age. Remember, fitness is personal and each of us have different tolerance levels and set goals, so why am I writing a blog about it then?
An interesting article published in Medscape Nurses, found that for post-menopausal women, faster walking pace was associated with lower risks of acute heart failure/hospitalization. Although the study had limitations, we all know that getting our heart rate to OUR desired cardio level has benefits. Interestingly, the study also suggests that slow walking may actually help identify those at a higher risk of heart failure who may benefit from targeted interventions to increase cardiorespiratory fitness and enhanced exercise tolerance.
Wow, who knew? As you walk with your residents around your center, keep in mind that they may actually have more potential than you think. Maybe it is time to encourage residents to see if they are able to increase the pace of their walk a little at a time and possibly improve cardiovascular outcomes! Stay the course, stay well, and stay informed!