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Walk Every Day and Scoop Up the Benefits

By Sandy Schroeder

Walking is like breathing. It's easy to take it for granted, but it can actually deliver unique benefits. Learn a few breathing exercises and feel the difference in stress relief. Then start walking every day and watch what happens to your mind and your body. 

Whatever your age, size or goals, if you start gradually and build up momentum, walking 30 minutes a day can clear your head, make your heart happier, and lighten your spirit. 

Harvard scientists tell us it helps tame a sweet tooth and fight the impact of weight-making genes. The Mayo Clinic goes on to point out all of these benefits. 

Keep joints flexible - You know what it's like when you sit too much. Now discover how nimble your body can become when you are walking every day. 

Build muscles - Power walks and build energy as your muscles strengthen and let you walk as far as you want. 

Reduce heart issues - Lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and improve other health numbers with brisk walking.

Reduce the risk of disease - Lower the risk of breast cancer and diabetes. 

Cut stress way back - Wherever you are with worries, sadness, or pressure, daily walks have a way of dialing everything back. Look around. Enjoy the sunshine and let the tension go. 

Keep the whole family healthier - Start kids out early with daily walks to the park and make every weekend an adventure with nature walks or wilderness hikes. 

Lift your spirits - When sadness just won't go away, a short walk to the park or the water can change your mood and make you smile. Darting squirrels, laughing children and beautiful trees make everything seem better. 

Help seniors ease joint pain - When it is tempting to not move at all, a short walk can be the way to reduce joint pain and preserve mobility. One step at a time can be the way to go on to walk around the block, or take a short walk to the park. 

Fire up creativity - When inspiration won't come, step away from your desk and head out for a walk. Many times I have been circling around a project but simply not getting the answers that I want. Then I head out for a walk and often return with a fresh batch of new ideas. 

Turn your back on boredom - When every day seems identical, a walk in a new direction at lunch or after work can uncover all sorts of new  people, shots or views.  

Drop those unwanted pounds - With the right diet and a daily walking routine, you may be surprised to see the weight go. I know of several people who started short walks and went on to walk many miles and drop a surprising amount of weight. 

Connect with others - Join a walking group or start a new one with a group of friends and neighbors. Regular walking times, accountability to show up, and the pleasure of just talking while you are walking can be a great motivator to stay with it. Check the walking groups in your area and pick the most appealing ones by the water or through the trees. 

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

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