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Why Walking Wins Every Time

By Sandy Schroeder

We are all looking for the most time efficient, focused workout we can find, but sometimes we overlook one of the best, which is daily walking.

Prevention spotlighted walking's ability to trigger weight loss. They said, "You don't need a fancy gym membership to lose weight. Walking may be even more effective than running, swimming or cycling, according to British researchers."

So Why Is Walking So Great?

Walking works on your mind and body and can add years to a lifetime.

Guard the brain - Just two hours of walking per week cuts stroke risk by 30 percent, according to research. Walking also improves memory and planning brain functions and helps reduce depression.

Help your heart - Walking for 20 minutes daily cuts heart disease risk by 30 percent and lowers the obesity risk by 50 percent.

Maintain your bones - Researchers say walking or bicycling lowers the rate of hip fractures and other fractures by strengthening the bones.

Tips to Make Walking Work

Doctors suggest taking these steps as you pull your walking program together.

Check in with your doctor first - If you have been inactive, start with a visit to your doctor to review your health and discuss walking plans.

Get the right pair of walking shoes - Go to a shoe store that does gait analysis to get the right shoe and go a half-size up to allow for foot swelling.

Get the right clothes - Stretch tops and bottoms in moisture-wicking fabrics will keep you comfortable and layering will work as the weather changes.

More Tips To Consider

Focus on the details to maximize results.

Strengthen your body too - A two-in-one workout with small weights a couple times a week may be the most effective routine to burn calories and boost metabolism.

Be careful with weights - Start with five-pound weights and try the routine without them first. Hold weights at hip level and keep core muscles involved to avoid straining joints.

Keep posture in mind - Walk with shoulders back and abs pulled in to help your muscles work well and insure good body alignment.

Warm-Up Drills

One-minute drill - Alternate lifting knees up toward hips reaching arms overhead, pulling abs into spine and then lowering arms.

Side-step drill - Take a wide step to the right and bring the left foot over to the right foot. Move back and forth alternating for one minute.

However your walking routine works out, keep expanding its role in your life. 

  • Walk while you wait for an appointment or your kids
  • Walk the corridors while you wait for a flight
  • Walk early in the morning or after dinner
  • Walk with your dog and your kids
  • Walk when you need a positive boost
  • Walk when tension builds and you need to blow off steam

It's all good and good for you!

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.

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