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How to Walk Off With Better Health and a Longer Life

By Sandy Schroeder

Walking is so easy to do, it’s easy to overlook, but it may be time to take a closer look to scoop up all of its benefits. The American Chiropractic Association says walking just 12 minutes every other day can increase longevity. The next step is walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week. Overall, we should take 10,000 steps daily and track our progress.

Why It’s So Important

The  Mayo clinic outlines its major benefits.

  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Manage high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen muscles and bones
  • Burn calories to maintain weight
  • Improve mood
  • Improve coordination and balance.

How to Stay Motivated

Take some smart positive steps when you start a new walking program to ensure success.

Put a little fun in your efforts - Make daily walking fit your life. Invite a friend or neighbor to join you if walking seems lonely. Join a walking group or gym if you love groups. Find a special path in your favorite park if you love to walk outside.

Ensure success from the start - Pick a simple goal like walking for 10 minutes before breakfast. If that works, move on to 20-minute walks after lunch. Keep pinning specific times to designated spots in your schedule to get the best results.

Accept a few missed days - Busy schedules are bound to interfere, but don’t let them derail the effort. Consider all of the progress that you have made, and get right back on track. If the weather changes, hit the nearest treadmill.

Mix up the routine - Find a few different routes that you like to keep it fresh. Always let someone know where you are and carry your phone. Choose safe, well lighted spots.

Specific Walking Tips

Here are some good guidelines from ACA.

  • Stand up straight and look straight ahead to keep your weight evenly balanced
  • Move arms freely coordinating with the opposite leg
  • Wear good supportive shoes that are comfortable
  • Walk briskly at a comfortable pace
  • Stay hydrated, drinking half of your body weight in water daily
  • Avoid energy or caffeinated drinks
  • Skip weights and dumbbells
  • Expect soreness in thighs and calves at first

Enlist the Best Support

The Joint Chiropractic clinic in your neighborhood is well equipped to help if you have ongoing soreness or other walking issues. Stop by to sort them all out and sample all of the Joint Chiropractic's benefits for health, wellness and fitness. October is National Chiropractic Health Month. The theme is #Move4Life. It's the perfect time to start moving and keep walking.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic Maple Grove, Minn. 

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