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Walking Your Way to Wellness

Woman crossing street.

Going somewhere? If it’s not too far away, consider walking instead of driving.

Most of us don’t move enough. Many of us sit most of the day. This lack of movement can profoundly affect our health and well-being.

Introducing… walking!

It’s free, it’s easy, it doesn’t require any fancy equipment or membership. It’s also convenient, there’s no set schedule and you can do it almost anywhere.

Walking is a functional movement that we should all be doing on a daily basis. But because of today’s social norms and routines of sitting, we forget that we should be moving and walking all day long!

The benefits of walking are well documented. Walking can increase your life expectancy, reduce cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, improve your mental health and your outlook on life.

Sitting is the considered the new Smoking, as it has just as many detrimental health effects. Walking can negate many of the negative side effects that a sedentary lifestyle brings.

Daily walks can improve the quality of your sleep and lower cholesterol. And there’s even MORE benefits:

  • Reduced body fat
  • Increased bone density
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improves muscle strength
  • Builds bone mass
  • Boost Metabolism

While most people can easily understand the physical benefits of walking, the mental/emotional benefits are often overlooked. Walking can improve self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, and make you feel good overall! Light activity, like walking or yoga, puts the body into the Parasympathetic nervous system. This state is when recovery and healing occurs. We must prioritize this “rest and digest” state, as most of our daily lifestyle is in a go-go stressed mode.

Walking in a beautiful environment and/or in nature can relax you and provide you with the time you need to engage in personal introspection. Walking with a partner (your pet, friend, spouse etc) has been shown to have many positive health benefits, including reducing stress and improving heart health.

Ready to get started?

  • First, get a good pair of shoes that have adequate arch support. Remember to stretch a bit, particularly the calves and hamstrings. Start out slow. Ease into it slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually until you’re where you want to be.
  • Just like any other type of physical activity, consistency is key! You’ll want to walk on a regular basis if you want to see and feel the results. Many of us overlook even small opportunities to walk. Park further out and walk to the store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • A brisk walk for 30 minutes a day, will work wonders for your physical and mental health. Start at a realistic and safe amount for you and your health. Breaking up the time into 10-15 min chunks can be helpful at first.
  • Set an attainable goal for a certain amount of steps per day. Use your phone to track these or invest in a wearable activity tracker like a FitBit. Adjust the goal accordingly as you start to get more active. It is a great way to stay accountable to your walking goal and to just stay active in general.
  • And before starting your walking program, stop by for a chiropractic checkup. Make sure your exercise program doesn’t stress malfunctioning joints of your legs, hips and spine. Then, get up from behind the computer, grab a friend and start walking!!

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