Taking Life One Step at a Time

By Stephen R. Farris

Did you know that walking is one of the best, and most simplest, exercises you can do? Not only is it less stressful on your joints, but it can also help you lose weight and give your heart and lungs a healthy workout as well, especially walking at a brisk pace.

A recent article by Harvard Health Publishing also revealed that counting your steps could result in creating a more active lifestyle. One group of subjects were given pedometers to keep track of their steps, while the other group performed their walking exercise without. The study showed that those given the device to keep track of their steps increased their daily activity by an extra 30 minutes and took several thousand more steps than the group that did not keep track of their steps.

Getting started on an exercise regimen can be challenging. Even if your schedule is filled with work or running errands and picking up kids, you can still find at least 30 minutes in the day to set aside for exercising. So let's get started!

Baby Steps Lead to Bigger Steps

Download a step counting app to your smartphone. Start counting your steps as soon as you wake up and keep track throughout the day, including that 30 minutes you've managed to set aside for walking. The number may be small to begin with, but the more you keep at it the more your total steps will start to increase. Set goals each week to do even more.

It's All About Heart Health

While walking can help you get healthier and decrease your chances of developing certain diseases, the greatest impact is on your heart. Always warm up before you start walking. Start out slow and gradually increase to a brisk walk and dress for the occasion (hot, cold, rainy, etc.).

Aiming High, Then Higher

I recall when I first began a walking regimen, mainly with my goal at that time to lose weight. Near the place I lived was a park with an 1/8-mile track. My goal to begin with was to make it around the track at least twice. After a couple of weeks I pushed to a third lap, then a fourth. Eventually I increased my laps to the point where I was walking five miles in the morning, five more during lunch hour and another five after work. It wasn't long before I noticed my weight had dropped significantly, my heart rate was good and my stamina increased. It may not seem like much at the start, but adding a little more steppage and time to your routine can lead to a healthier you.

Before starting any exercise regimen, you may want to consult with your doctor or local chiropractor.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in North Little Rock, Ark.

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