Weekly Wellness: Are you fit enough to travel?
COLUMBIA- You have worked your whole life and you are ready to enjoy it. Maybe one of your goals is to travel. See new things, experience new cultures, visit different states and/or countries! And I want you to be able to do this without any worries about your physical ability to do it.
A survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that more than half of people 65 years and older are “physically inactive.” And when AARP conducted a survey of baby boomers and asked them specifically what was keeping them from taking trips, the second-most-common barrier was “health” (behind cost). The take away of this information is that we have a society of unfit older people who would like to travel.
Traveling in and of itself can be a physically taxing thing. Lots of walking, carrying bags, hoisting bags overhead, side-stepping into a plane row… should I continue? We haven’t even gotten to our destination and I’m already tired! Then, I’m sure that once you arrive, you’ll want to do some tours (walking, maybe?) to see the sights? Maybe some of those sights will have steeper stairs or no handrails.
If you are hoping to do some traveling, it would be beneficial to get into a fitness routine. If you are starting from a relatively sedentary place, it is recommended that you commit to two 60-minute strength sessions per week for a minimum of 8 weeks before your scheduled vacation. If you can’t afford a one-on-one personal trainer, look into group fitness classes that incorporate strength training, balance work and functional training.
The benefits of a travel preparation fitness program are:
- More ability to enjoy a wider variety of vacation activities
- Lower risk of injury and muscle soreness
- Higher energy for exploring and engaging with your destination
- More adventure memories
- Greater ability to get to places
I hope you have some travel in your future. If you need some assistance, come and see me!