Active Adult Living

Fitness Walking For Active Adults

Walking is the one of the best exercises for most 55+ active adults and the most popular. Fitness walking is when you take casual walking one step further and develop a purposeful walking plan to walk faster, farther and more frequent.

You will reap more benefits in the same time spent with fitness walking. Assuming you already walk sometimes and want to take the next step, how do you develop your fitness walking program?

How to Develop a Fitness Walking Program

  1. Decide when you will be walking and schedule a time to walk at least 3 times a week. Many people like to walk every other day, so Monday, Wednesday and Friday are options. Walking in the morning is great for many because they know they will get it done, rather than trying to work walking in later in the day.  You may be walking 5 or 6 times a week before you know it.
  2. Start walking slow and build up your speed and distance over time. Maybe start with two or three miles. I like to walk for an hour a day.
  3. Vary your routine, walking harder some days and easier other days. Within the same workout, using interval training to go faster for a ways, then slower, then faster, etc. is a good practice.
  4. Get a walking buddy or join a walking group. Remember  you are doing fitness walking, not just a casual social walk.
  5. Attend some local walking events. Many if not all running events now are open to walking. They even changed the names to run/walk.  Ask your local running shoe store or better yet check and search “walking” and your location.

Why I Like Walking Events

  1. Helps get you motivated. Takes you to the next level.
  2. Challenging
  3. Competition with yourself and others in your age bracket.
  4. Helps you gauge your progress
  5. Feels great!

Many people like to walk close to home and residents of active adult communities have plenty of places to walk with sidewalks, parkways, LifePaths, and parks nearby. Parks are a nice place to walk. Check with your local senior center also as they may have a walking group. They will have an annual senior games with walking events too.

Consider your Walking Form – Walking Technique

Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires good posture and purposeful movements. Be mindful of how you are walking and use these walking techniques to build your fitness walking form


  1. USE GOOD POSTURE. Walk tall, Keep your chest raised, and shoulders relaxed – shoulders down, back and relaxed. Your neck, shoulders and back are relaxed, not stiffly upright
  2. HEAD LEVEL look forward (not at the ground), gazing about 20 feet ahead. Your chin should be level and your head up.
  3. BEND YOUR ARMS in slightly less than a 90 degree angle. Cup your hands gently. Swing arms front to back. Do not swing side to side – arms should not cross your body. Do not swing elbows higher than your sternum (breast bone). Swing your arms faster and your feet will follow.
  6. ROLL THRU AND PUSH OFF. Push off with your toes. Concentrate on landing on your heel, rolling through the step and pushing off with your toes. Use the natural spring of your calf muscles to propel you forward. You’re walking smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe.


  1. Do not over stride especially in front.
  2. Do not use too vigorous arm movements.
  3. Do not look at the ground. Keep that head up.
  4. Do not hunch your shoulders
  5. Do not carry hand weights or place weights on your ankles

Fitness walking is a fun activity as well as a great exercise that you can do for the rest of your life. Make the commitment and form the habit. You will be glad you did.

Robert Fowler,  Racewalker

Racewalking is a type of fitness walking that I practice and like a lot. Here is Ian Whatley giving the basic of how to race walk.

Active Adult Living Del Webb Communities

Places To Walk

Places to Walk

Walking is the number one exercise most people get in retirement and is one of the best exercises you can do. Having places to walk near where you live that are accessible, safe and walker friendly is a big advantage.

Having places to walk in your community and neighborhood makes it easier to just leave your home on foot, to get started right away and save the hassle of driving to somewhere to walk. Plus if it starts to rain or other weather condition come up, well it’s not far back home.

Developers of 55+ Communities, especially Active Adult Communities like Del Webb communities, know that having places to walk in the community is important to those of us buying homes in their communities. They do an excellent job of including walking areas in their communities.

Since I am an avid walker myself, walking 3 to 5 miles about 5 times a week, I have discovered and benefited from having these lovely places to walk in and near my Del Webb Community. These are common in other active adult communities too and are a big reason to live in one.

Walking in the Community

Sidewalks in Community: There are sidewalks on both sides of the street.

Every house in the community has a sidewalk in front, that goes for miles around the streets and cul de sacs of the community. You can walk out your front door and just keep going for as long as you want.

Deaton Parkway
Deaton Parkway

Parkway Walking: Our Deaton Creek Parkway goes from the front entrance to the back entrance of the community and connects all the neighborhoods. From any house, it is a short walk to the parkway where you will be joined by other walkers on a wider path.



Trail at Village at Deaton Creek
Trail at Village at Deaton Creek

Community Trails: We have eight miles of trails within our community, through the woods and hills and along creeks and lakes of North Georgia. There is a handy trail map for reference.  Trail entrances are located close to your home. This is a good way to get in touch with nature while getting your walking in.


Gym in Activities Center: Here you have the treadmills.  For a bonus, walk down to the gym!

Walking Outside the Community

Friendship Parkway
Friendship Parkway

Friendship Road: Going outside our community entrance you will be on Friendship Parkway with LifePath, which provides a 10′ wide concrete pathways for about 10 miles.  This connects our community, The Village at Deaton Creek, and Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s River Place to Chateau Elan in one direction and to Lake Lanier in the other direction. Many other active adult communities we have visited, have similar accessible paths just outside their communities too.

Mulberry Creek Community Center
Mulberry Creek Community Center


Recreation Center and Parks: I found the Mulberry Creek Community Center last year and walked on their indoor track all Winter. Here Mary Ann is making the rounds.



Cherokee Bluffs Amenities: A 100-acre park that has large natural rock outcroppings as well as a pond, streams, and a view north of foothills. It is free to the public. Proposed Amenities: Amphitheatre, nature center, dog park, archery range, walking and horseback riding trails, pavilions, and a natural playscape structure.  Address: 5867 Black Jack Road, Flowery Branch, GA 30542 -Only 7 miles from VDC.

Little Mulberry Park walking trail
Little Mulberry Park

Little Mulberry Park has 890 acres and 5 miles of paved multi-purpose and soft surface trails around 3 lakes and beautiful scenery!  Just check with your local county parks, recreation and senior centers for walking opportunities.

Hall Country Parks listings.


5k race walk
Robert’s 5K race walk

Local 5Ks: These days they have a 5k walk/run event just about every weekend and many will be very close to you. In March, I walked the Road Atlanta 10K (about 6 miles), then did the Flowery Branch Disabled Vets 5K, followed by the local Flowery Branch High School 5K, followed by the Eagle Ranch 5K right next door. Oh, then the SC Senior Games 5K, the Georgia Games 5K, the USATFGA 5K, the USA Masters Games 5K and probably one of two more.  Visit for 5Ks near you. Even though it may be mostly runners, there is always plenty of us walkers too.

Mall Walking: In our community, we have a number of Mall of Georgia walkers. Walk in a comfortable environment in any weather. Open from 10AM to 9PM but you can join the Mall Walkers Group for access before the mall opens or just go when you want. They love mall walkers!

NE Georgia Medical Center: Our hospital right next door to our community asked me to start a local walking group to promote health.  The group meets in the main lobby at 8am M-W-F.  Your local hospital may have a walking group too.

Types of Walking

Solo walking on the trails at Deaton Creek
Solo walking on the trails at Deaton Creek

Individual Walking: Some people like to walk by themselves or with their pet. Walking and thinking. Walking to clear your mind. Walking on a trail through the woods to get in touch with nature. Everyone should take a solo walk in the Winter time, like I was doing in this photo.

Walking at the park
Walking at the park


Social Walking: Before I moved here to my Del Webb Community, I was an active member of Park Place, my local senior center and walked three times a week with the Park Place Pacers.  We walked at the park where the center was located for about an hour and had the best time talking and walking. You can really make some friendships walking with others and the time just flies by.

Speed or Power Walking: Power walking refers to walking with a purpose as opposed to a slow, comfortable stroll along the seaside.

Race Walkers

Race Walking: This is a competitive style of walking which I do. Race walkers must maintain good form and the knee of the lead leg as it passes under the body has to be straight and both your feet cannot lose contact with the ground at the same time. Race walking is an Olympic sport with distances of 20 kilometers for both men and women and 50 kilometers for men only. I will be watching the race walking events at the Rio Olympics this week on my TV. Mile for mile, race walkers burn more calories than runners.

Walking Basics

Get Good Shoes: As well as insoles if you need them and lightweight athletic socks with a high wicking capacity.

Warm Up! Start slow and build up speed slowly.  After walking 5 minutes, stop and stretch.

Safety: Take a cell phone with you and an id. If walking in the community, take your Owners ID. Let people know where you are going to walk.

Map of a walk
Map of a walk

I see I am getting a little carried away with this “Places to Walk” post,  when all I wanted to say is that since I moved to an Active Adult Community, I have plenty of places to walk. It’s probably not mentioned or considered at time of purchase, but the benefit of places to walk nearby is one I am enjoying!