Walking: it’s a simple activity, but its benefits are enormous. Adding a daily walk to your routine improves your mood, helps you stay in shape and can even help to relieve back pain. Read on to learn a little more about this simple and accessible type of exercise.
Walking for Fun
Most first-time exercisers find walking to be an enjoyable activity that’s easy to get into. After all, all you need to start is a good pair of shoes and a sidewalk. There’s none of the impact of running or field sports, and it’s easy to adjust your pace to stay comfortable. Bring along some music or walk with a friend, and walking quickly becomes fun.
Scientific research supports this fact. A 1984 study found that volunteers who were asked to describe the severity of problems in their lives assessed their problems as less severe after a ten minute walk. Another study conducted by the University of Edinburgh found that spending time in nature helps to reduce stress, making outdoor walking a natural mood-enhancer.
Walking for Fitness
Walking is an effective way to improve your health. The American Heart Association explains that walking for thirty minutes a day can help to improve your blood sugar and blood pressure levels, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes, and breast cancer, and improve your blood lipid profile. The extra calories burned also makes walking a great way to manage weight, helping to prevent the broader health issues associated with obesity. Walking at a faster pace and for longer periods can enhance these benefits.
Walking for Back Pain
Many people who suffer from chronic back pain find that walking is therapeutic. Because it is a low-impact form of exercise, it is easy to engage in even for people with chronic pain. Regular walking helps to strengthen muscles in the core, legs, and hips, improving the stability of the spine. When combined with regular stretching, walking can help to improve your range of motion, reducing the risk of future injury. Finally, walking improves circulation, ensuring that the structures surrounding the spine receive adequate nutrition. All of these benefits can help to reduce persistent back pain.
Walking might be an effective way for you to manage your own back discomfort while achieving a range of other health and wellness goals. Consult your chiropractor to learn more. Your chiropractor will help determine the root cause of your discomfort or pain and can recommend a personalized treatment plan (including specific lifestyle changes) to relieve it.
Many people of all ages and levels of general fitness have discovered the benefits of regular walking. Even though it may not be the most glamorous form of exercise, walking still ranks as among the most beneficial. Take advantage of this low-impact, low-cost physical activity today to feel healthier, happier and more comfortable!