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How to Walk Off With the Best Health

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us have become very creative inventing all sorts of exercise routines, but it really is hard to beat walking. It's safe and simple and quite easy to do on a regular basis wherever you are.

Mayo Clinic endorses it as a gentle, low-impact cardio exercise. Brisk walking makes it more vigorous. Overall, it burns calories, trims the waist and boosts the lymphatic and immune systems. Walking has a host of additional benefits.

  • Reduce risk of heart attack
  • Reduce risk of diabetes
  • Improve coordination and balance
  • Control blood pressure
    Increase core strength
  • Maintain best weight
  • Lower stress
  • Lift the spirit
  • Try these tips to make the most of walking

Begin slowly - Don't rush out and walk a mile. Instead start with a normal walk of 5 to 10 minutes at a steady pace and then keep building it over weeks and months. Consider adding a walking buddy to keep the effort going.

Target your goals - Every time you go out for a walk think about what you want to accomplish. You may want to build endurance, relax more, lose weight, or just burn off some stress. 

Be flexible with your walking - When you take trips, work late or have family issues, find ways to walk wherever you are. You can walk at an airport or between meetings and you can always use the treadmill as a backup.

Choose a lot of routes - Pick some new spots in your area. Hike on weekends too. Do the research to estimate lengths of walks and gradually lengthen your outings. 

Involve your family too - Get everybody out for short walks in the evening or plan a nature walk for the evening. Take photos and collect leaves and rocks. 

Stay ahead of the weather - Watch the forecasts and work your walks into the best times. If you enjoy cold weather and snow, dress warmly and keep right on walking. If you would rather be indoors, use a treadmill or steps in the house as a substitute.

Keep track of your walks and your weight - You may be pleased to see weight go down and endurance go up as you walk farther and faster. 

Update your gear - Make sure your shoes provide good support and are comfortable. Also wear layers of waterproof clothes and carry your cell with you.

Avoid the traffic - Whenever possible pick walking paths that are not near traffic. Walk in the park, around neighborhoods or near the water.

If you walk every day you may be amazed at the difference in your mood, health and attitude. Enjoy.

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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