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How to Walk Off Stress and Stay Fit

By Sandy Schroeder

We live in a world where new health tips flourish, but one of the easiest and simplest options often gets overlooked. Walking may give you total flexibility with less risk and better results.

Better results – Walking can help you lose weight, de-stress and lower your blood pressure while you slash your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Start with a comfortable level and gradually build up to 30 minutes a day.

Better mood – Walking can even out the day. Feeling totally confused after a hectic morning? Step outside and walk off the stress. As your head clears, you may come up with a new viewpoint and better ideas. Many people choose walking meetings to stimulate interaction and creativity.

Better flexibility - Walking adjusts to your time and your fitness level. Got 15 extra minutes? Walk before breakfast, after lunch or in the evening with your kids. Keep a pair of sneakers in your car and you can walk while you wait for your kids after school, or in between meetings. Missed your morning yoga or fitness class? Make up for it with a couple walking sessions during the day.

How to Make It Work

Use these tips help you get in some walking exercise. You might enlist a buddy to turn walking into a social activity. Use any excuse you can to walk more; walk the dog, take the stairs, walk to do your errands. When you start walking, begin slowly, and see how it fits in your day. When you travel, walk in the airport or around malls. Prevention suggests these tips.

Pick safe spots – Walk in the park, on quiet streets in your neighborhood, or on school grounds, such as the track.

Get the right shoes – Pick flexible, supportive soles to absorb impact with uppers that allow your feet to breathe.

Dress in layers – Wear light colors and consider a reflective vest if you are walking near traffic.

Warm up and cool down – Start slowly to build up to a brisk pace and cool down at the end of your walk.

Look ahead 10 to 20 feet - Be aware of traffic and your surroundings.

Point your feet straight - Let your foot land on your heel as you move onto the ball of your foot and push off from your toes.

Need to speed up - Take faster steps not longer ones.

Don't make walking a chore. Let its flexibility work for you to keep you active and relaxed. 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Atlanta, Ga. 

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