Walking: A Great Way to Take Steps Toward Good Health

It’s just may be the easiest thing you do to get healthy!  Walking, while a simple part of our daily routine, has numerous benefits for your health – emotional, mental and physical!  Taking the initiative to begin a walking routine is a great first step in improving your overall well being.

Gear Up

When starting a routine, it is important to have the right gear; but, luckily these types of items are easy to find and often very affordable. Shoes specifically designed for walking will help you stay comfortable over the miles and help you avoid injury.  Clothing that is made with fabrics to keep you cool in warmer weather or as you sweat during workouts can make a big difference and have a positive impact on your experience.  Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated is vital, but especially important during the warmer times of year when it is best to walk during hours when temperatures are not at their peak.  There are a variety of different exercise water bottles and hydration packs on the market to meet your needs and preferences.

Whether you’ll be in your neighborhood or on country roads, you’ll want to consider safety precautions.  Always wear reflective gear or carry a light of some kind if will be twilight or dark during your walk. Also, walk facing traffic if you are walking in an area without sidewalks, and when possible, choose a route where you won’t encounter high-speed or congested roadways.

Since you may be in new surroundings, always beware of dogs, cars, bicyclists, and even other people.  It is always a good idea to venture out with a walking buddy, to keep you motivated and safe as your work toward your goals.

Walk Tall

Warm up with some light stretching before heading out on your walk and start slowly.  Then, gradually increase your pace as you feel comfortable.  A cool down at the end of your walk is also good to allow your heart rate to normalize.

Proper walking technique will help you have an effective workout while enjoying each step ahead.  According to the Mayo Clinic, when walking for fitness a person should:

  • hold their head high
  • look forward, not at the ground
  • keep their chin parallel to the ground
  • move their shoulder naturally
  • keep their back straight, not arched forward or backward
  • gently tighten their stomach muscles
  • swing their arms freely with a slight bend in their elbows
  • walk smoothly, rolling the foot from heel to toe

Listen to your body and take a break at times when you feel sick or have an  injury, so that you can come back stronger instead of exacerbating a situation and potentially causing longer recovery time.

Talk to your chiropractor at your next visit about how walking may be beneficial for you.  They can answer questions about diet, exercise or other health related topics.  They can also help direct you toward resources and programs in your area that may benefit you as well as make personal recommendations based on your specific health needs.  Need a doctor of chiropractic?  Find a doctor of chiropractic near you here.

References

Walking: Your steps to health.  https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/walking-your-steps-to-health

Proper walking technique. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/multimedia/proper-walking-technique/img-20007670


The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for a diagnosis by a specialist.  For specific information concerning your health condition, consult your chiropractor.