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Walking May Be the Best Prescription for Health

By Sandy Schroeder

Walking may be one of the most underrated exercises around. We recognize how versatile it is and then forget to actually do it.

Harvard Health reminds us of its power and describes walking as a natural prescription for health.

Take a look at its many benefits.

Walking hits all the high notes - Just 30 minutes a day can improve your mind, body and spirit, helping your heart, bones, weight and endurance.

Walking takes on heart disease - Researchers say individuals who walk lower their risk for heart disease and recover faster from surgical heart procedures. My mom put this advice to work. After a heart attack she turned her rehab program into a five-mile-a-day walking routine.

Walking lowers blood pressure - When you are out there, walking increases blood flow to carry oxygen to the muscles to help relax the blood vessels to lower blood pressure. Stay with it every day and watch your blood pressure numbers improve.

Walking builds strong bones - Bone density in the spine, hips and legs gets a boost with every step we take.

Walking helps fight depression - The minute I step out the door I can feel my spirit lift. If you are feeling sad, anxious or depressed, see what walking can do.

Walking wakes up the brain - As the spirit lifts, the brain often snaps to attention to when we walk. For me it's a guaranteed creativity boost. I always return with some fresh ideas.

Walking helps us rest better - If you are tossing and turning at night, add 30 minutes of walking outdoors every day and sleep better every night.

Walking helps us let go - When tensions settle in and refuse to leave, short daily walks can be a great way to let all of the worries go.

Walking helps you cut body fat - Try for 5,000 steps a day and see how it plays out with your goals to lose weight.

Walking changes everything - People who are walking every day often say they feel stronger and have more endurance as they face the day with more confidence and less anxiety.

How to Get Walking

  • Designate a 30-minute time slot to walk every day
  • Pick several paths to keep it interesting
  • Vary your pace with fast and slow periods
  • Walk with a buddy
  • Branch out with jogging or running

If you can't walk very far - Use a treadmill to walk in place. Start gradually and add a few more minutes each day.

Take advantage of every minute - Carry sneakers with you to walk at lunch, after work, between meetings, or when you are traveling.

Make the leap from inactivity. If you sit way too much every day, walking can be the way back to improved health through effective exercise.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chicago, Ill.

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