Stay Active and Fit

Engaging in daily physical activity will positively impact your all-around health and well-being. You do not have to be a member of a fancy gym or purchase expensive equipment for your home to stay active.

Start with Walking
Walking is one of the most convenient, cost efficient, and beneficial movements you can do. Try to incorporate “walking” into everything you do both inside and outside the home.

Use these strategies to increase your “walking” throughout the day.

(1)  Enjoy the outdoors with a 15 to 30 minute walk each day;

(2)  Take a mini walk around your house or office;

(3)  Use the stairs instead of elevators in buildings;

(4)  Park your car a little farther away from your point of destination and walk the rest;

(5)  Walk instead of drive when running errands whenever possible;

(6)  Walk around the mall just for fun; and

(7)  Start up a “walking” group with friends and enjoy.


Make “walking” a priority in your daily routine. Start out slowly and gradually increase your activity level as you become more fit.

Walking has proven to:

  • Reduce stress;
  • Improve your emotional well-being;
  • Facilitate better sleep;
  • Support your joint health;
  • Boost circulation;
  • Reduce the risk of obesity, Alzheimer’s, strokes and heart disease, osteoporosis and breast cancer and colon cancer; and
  • Improve blood sugar level and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In addition to walking, explore new ways to engage in physical activity or exercise. Select those activities that you might enjoy doing such as golf, tennis, baseball, dancing, horseback riding, gardening, swimming, or bicycling. Find activities that you really like and that can be done on a regular basis. For more strenuous activities, check with your doctor first for his official okay.  In all cases, start with small bits of activity and build up from there. Staying active is an excellent way to improve the quality of your life.

Written by: Patricia K. Flanigan, Smart Strategies for Successful Living

Patricia K. Flanigan has worked in higher education for over 28 years. She holds a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne as well as a M.A.  in Latin American Studies and B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before retiring and moving to Idaho in 2015, she served as the dean of online education and learning resources at Saddleback College, a large community college in Southern California. She currently consults in higher education, volunteers for AARP, writes for a local magazine, and serves as an Affiliate Faculty member at Boise State University  and on the Board for LEARN Idaho.  Since February 2017, she has been the founding director for Smart Strategies for Successful Living, a community-based website designed to promote quality aging.  As an educator, her focus is to inspire others to live and age well.