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Is Walking Enough? Yes, It Can Be!

By Donna Stark

At some point, with most of the things that we do, we start to wonder, “Is this enough?” This thought permeates into just about everything in our lives from work to relationships to how we exercise. It even applies to the one form of exercise that we have been doing from practically Day 1: walking. We’ve been walking for as long as we can remember, but because it is one of the simplest forms of exercise, it doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Walking can be enough though, and the good news is that it offers so many benefits to both those who are just starting off and to those who are already extremely active.

The Perfect Exercise

Walking is the perfect form of exercise for so many people because it’s free and can be done pretty much anywhere. Its benefits are far-reaching and improve the health of everyone involved. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  • Cognitive abilities - As we age, walking becomes more important for the health of our brains. Studies have shown that it can help reverse the effects of aging by significantly lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.
  • Bone strength - Walking can help strengthen bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis just as running, jumping, and weightlifting do. It’s a perfect alternative for those who are limited to low-impact exercises.
  • Mood enhancer - Walking has been linked to improvements in our mood and reductions in our stress levels. And it helps even more if you can take your walk outside, in nature.
  • Healthy heart - Walking regularly is great for your heart because it helps with your circulation, lowers your blood pressure, and reduces your risk of stroke. And it doesn’t take much to benefit from it either. A brisk walk for just 30 minutes a day is usually enough to improve heart health.

Preparing Yourself

While walking is known to be one of the simplest exercises, there are still some key factors that are important to note before you start. Here are a few of them.

  • Physician support - You should always consult a physician if there are any concerns
  • Walking shoes - You should invest in the proper footwear, as running shoes have subtle differences that will factor into your comfort
  • Technique - Keep your head up and chest high, don’t allow your shoulders to slump, and use short strides landing on your heel and rolling toward your toes
  • Distance - Start at a pace that is comfortable for you and slowly increase your distance and speed gradually, over time

Learning how to walk when we were young was always celebrated with praise, smiles, and overly proud parents. May I suggest we keep that celebratory response going because, after receiving all of the benefits that come from walking, we certainly have a lot to cheer about.

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

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