Get moving for better health

Healthwise: Get moving for better health

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Exercise guidelines from the American Heart Association and other groups recommend that people should walk 10,000 steps or more a day for better health.

To some, that may sound impossible. But rather than give up on reaching that goal, gerontology experts say it’s more important to just do what you can. At the Texas Tech School of Nursing, Dr. Alyce Ashcraft, Ph.D., R.N., says remember that 150 minutes of movement every week can be divided however you want. She says, “I think for older adults, it’s almost better if you do a little every day. If you can manage to do 30 minutes every day, that’s great. But again, it doesn’t have to be structured. It’s called moving.”

Dr. Ashcraft explains, "Don't think of it as ‘I have to exercise.' No, you need to move. And movement can be walking cycling, household chores, everything from mopping the floors to mowing the lawn.

She says that can even include playing with your grandchildren because children are so active. She adds, "If you think about children, what do they do? They play."

Dr. Ashcraft suggests for those who are not already active, start slowly and increase in intensity and duration. She says, "What often helps is a buddy. I don't care if it's a family member, or friend, or my dog. That will hold you accountable so you can increase your activity."

Also, if you try to get moving, but feel like you're not getting anywhere, she says, "Check with your physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant to learn if there's something else going on, maybe making you tired."

The bottom line is simple. She says, "The body likes to move and it functions so much better when we move.

Even chronic diseases, you feel better if you exercise, even if it is just a little."

Dr. Ashcraft suggests these free resources for senior activities and exercise options in Lubbock:

Lubbock Senior Center, 2001 19th street. 767-2710.

Copper Rawlings Center, 213 40th, 767-2704.

Mae Simmons Center, 2004 Oak Ave. 767-2708

Trejo Senior Center, 3200 Amherst, 767-2705.

Membership costs may exist with the following option:

UMC Activity Center, 5217 82nd,

Also: Silver Sneakers is offered at Wellness Today, Premier Sportsplex, Covenant Health: LIfestyle Centre.

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