As imperfect as it might be, I love my FitBit. I can track how much I’m moving each day. A recent New York Times Magazine story on How Many Steps Should You Take In a Day concluded that at 7,500 the benefits of walking on your fitness plateaued in older adults.
Current recommendations by the United States Department of Health and Human Services now includes Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety and insomnia and recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a week. That follows the original recommendations from 2008 that reported activities like brisk walking or raking leaves lowered the risk of diabetes, certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.
A year ago I restarted a morning walking routine with a neighbor. We both immediately recognized what a difference the morning walk made to our mood and lament the days we miss our early morning ritual.
There are a wide variety of low impact activities that can be done. The hard part for me has been tracking the activity which goes back to my love of the FitBit. It tracks my steps, my heart rate and my sleep.
If you are caring for a loved one, you might consider getting them a FitBit or Apple Watch. It can give you insight into how much they are moving during the day. The Apple Watch 4 also has some fall detection options that might be helpful. However, what I do know is that many people are not interested in trying out a new technology and that might be something you can’t overcome. I think it’s worth trying. I found that my Dad with Alzheimer’s did better when he exercised – but it was hard for him to manage it on his own. When I visited, I always tried to at least incorporate a vigorous walk and when I had more time would drag him to the racquetball court only to take a beating.
I think that a habit of exercise follows Newton’s First Law and a body in motion stays in motion. Believed.