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Don't Miss What Walking Can Do for You

By Sandy Schroeder

Walking often gets overlooked because it seems so basic, but Harvard Health says there is a whole lot more that happens when you make walking part of your daily routine.

Your doctor may agree as he prescribes walking daily, saying it is "the closest thing we have to a wonder drug."

When walking becomes a daily focus, you may boost your health and your spirit. I always feel better when I head out for a walk, and I come back with a renewed spirit and fresh ideas. When things get chaotic, I head out for another walk to ease the stress and clear my head.

What Walking Can Do

Take a look what it can do for you.

It cuts sugar cravings - Walking may help you lose that craving for donuts, pastry and other sweets. Researchers found walking does reduce the urge to eat sugary treats.

It helps you lose weight - Researchers found walking briskly for an hour a day can defuse the power of genes that promote weight gain. Walking burns calories and shakes up our genes.

Walking fights joint pain - If your joints hurt, walking can help lubricate them and strengthen the muscles that support those joints. Walking is especially good for knees and hips, reducing arthritis pain, and it may even help you avoid arthritis if you do not have it.

Walking strengthens the immune system - Studies have found walking 20 minutes a day at least five days a week can help you fight flu and colds. Researchers found people who walked had more than 40 percent fewer sick days and had milder symptoms when they were sick.

It fights breast cancer - The American Cancer Society found women who walked seven or more hours a week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 14 percent. This was true in spite of using supplemental hormones or being overweight.

Walking Strategies

  • Walk every chance you can before breakfast, after dinner, during brief breaks during the day
  • Walk on your treadmill
  • Walk in place during work breaks
  • Walk to run errands
  • Walk instead of driving when you can
  • Walk up and down steps at home
  • Walk favorite paths at your local park
  • Walk with your kids on the weekend

Walking often gets overlooked, but it could be a secret weapon in your efforts to feel better, look better and actually be better. Start thinking about when and where you could walk every day.

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

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