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Walk Your Way to Better Health

By Amy Silva

You don't need to work out extremely hard to enjoy the health benefits of exercise. One of the most basic workouts you can do is walking. It's free if you walk outdoors, around the house, or even while window shopping. If you have access to a treadmill at home or at a gym it's even more beneficial because you can likely get more steps in, but all movement is good movement so don't feel as though you have to reach the same distance as someone else or overdo it to have a positive impact.

Health Benefits of Walking

Walking is great for keeping your joints and muscles healthy. When you walk, it aids in strengthening muscles so they can support your joints properly. It can ease pain for arthritis sufferers, prevent arthritis in others, and stop bone loss in those with osteoporosis. Other potential health benefits include boosting your mood and energy levels, losing or maintaining weight, and improving your sleep quality. Walking could even help you live longer and lower your risk of heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Ways to Get More Steps Throughout the Day

Not everyone enjoys walking, but if you stop thinking of it as exercise, it can become more tolerable and maybe even a fun new habit. One thing you can do is check out local trails where you can walk among the trees, lake, or river. Consider asking a friend to walk around the neighborhood with you. Here are some other tips to get those steps in:

  • Park farther away - No matter where you go, if you drove there and weather permits, park as far away as you can and the steps will really add up.
  • Take the stairs - At home, walk up and down the stairs on commercial breaks. Take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators at work and while shopping.
  • Don't watch the clock - If you use a treadmill to walk, try reading a book, watching television or listening to a podcast. If you worry about the time, it's sure to go even slower, so find something else to focus on.

Adding extra steps to your daily routine or going on walks can have a positive impact on your health. Be creative at finding new ways to walk more; if you get bored while using the treadmill, find something to do that keeps your eyes off the clock. You may end up being so caught up in a new book that you walk even farther than you planned.

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

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