Walk Off Your Backache!
By Sara Butler
The weather is warming up – so you should warm-up right along with it! Your indoor exercise routine is in the past and it’s time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air as you work to keep your backaches at bay. Ask any chiropractor and they'll tell you that being inside all winter can leave you feeling a little stiff, but walking just 30 minutes a day can help you loosen up and feel better.
How Walking Can Help
Researchers at Tel Aviv University published a study in 2013 that found a 20 to 40-minute walk just two to three times a week can help to alleviate lower back pain. The muscles that keep your spine centered and upright are strengthened as you walk, as are the ligaments that help to give your spine stability and flexibility. This can help to prevent any pain caused by joint dysfunction or restriction – all from walking.
- Strengthens hip, leg, and abdominal muscles
- Increases circulation
- Helps you to maintain a healthy weight
- Floods your system with feel-good endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers
Make Sure to Use Proper Form
Don’t fall into bad walking habits, such as shuffling your feet, taking strides that are too short or too long, and slouching. If you practice bad habits when walking, it can eliminate some of the benefits you’re trying to get! To get the full benefits of walking you should:
- Keep your head up and shoulders relaxed
- Avoid slouching or leaning forward
- Use a rolling motion with your feet
- Land on your heel and push off with your toes
- Engage your abdominal muscles as you walk
- Bend your arms and let them swing comfortably
- Use a stride that feels natural to you
A Few More Walking Benefits
As if the physical benefits to ward off back pain weren’t enough, walking can also:
- Keep your mind sharp
- Help reduce bone loss
- Improve your sleep
- Reduce risk of chronic disease
- Improve your coordination
Regular walking within your tolerance level is a simple and easy activity that will make the chiropractor you see at The Joint proud! Plus, walking doesn’t require a gym membership – it’s free. It’s a great way to balance out a lifestyle that, for many people, has become too sedentary and resulted in back pain. So, fight back – with walking! If you need some help, be sure to check in at The Joint before you begin a walking routine.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.