A warmup is essential to get your body ready for activity. These dynamic moves prime muscles you’ll use during a walk.
By Michele Stanten
With any workout, you want to warm up your body first, and walking is no different. A good warmup will not only help you feel better during your walk, but after it too.
An ideal warmup includes three to five minutes of easy walking plus dynamic moves that mimic the action of walking and prime the muscles you’ll be using. You can do this dynamic routine before or after some easy walking. If you’re short on time, simply do the routine to warm up.
Exercise #1: Shoulder Rolls
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms relaxed at your sides. Without using your arms, lift your shoulders toward your ears. Circle them back, down, and around. Do 10 shoulder rolls in this direction, and then repeat in the opposite direction.
Exercise #2: Torso Pulls
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms out in front of you, and palms touching. Bend your right elbow and pull your hand back toward your right hip as you gently rotate your torso to the right. Bring your hands back together, and then repeat on the left side. Do 10 torso pulls on each side.
Exercise #3: Foot Rockers
Bring your feet a little closer together, so they’re just a few inches apart. You can hold onto a chair or wall for balance. Gently roll up onto the balls of your feet and toes, lifting your heels off the ground. Then gently roll back down onto your heels, lifting your toes off the ground. Rolling forward and back, do 10 foot rockers.
Exercise #4: Leg Swing
Stand with your feet together and toes facing forward. You can hold onto a chair or wall for balance. Shift your weight onto your left leg, and lift your right hip and leg slightly. Once you find your balance, gently swing your right leg forward and back. Keep your right foot flexed, swing your leg from your hip, and don’t lean your body forward or back. Do 10 leg swings on each side.
Note: The exercises in this workout may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. Please consult your physician before beginning a physical activity program to make sure it’s safe for you.