Walking is an exercise is often criminally underrated. As Chiropractors at Perth Allied Health Clinic, we treat people with on a large spectrum of fitness, ranging from half marathon runners, and elite athletes to people who suffer from many co-morbid diseases such as obesity & heart disease.
However, everyone needs to start somewhere! And no matter your fitness level everyone can benefit from the effects of walking. Below are some ways that consistent walking can help you and your spine:
Improving your Cardiovascular system
Walking goes a long way to preventing several conditions, notably heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, the list goes on. In addition to this the increased circulation brought about by walking ensures that nutrients make it the spine and the surrounding soft tissues are nourished and enriched. The movement of blood through the body helps to nourishes all the muscles, making you stronger whilst also making it easier to exercise. Essentially, the more you walk, the easier it becomes.
Good for your discs
Our daily bodily movements cause compression on the spinal discs, squeezing out the discs’ water that provides cushion for the vertebrae. The increased circulation from walking helps to rehydrate the discs by moving water to where the discs can absorb it, keeping them healthier for longer.
Improves postural position
Poor posture is often the result of sedentary positions such as office work or extended use of computers and mobile devices. Poor posture places extra pressure on the spine which can lead to tension, soreness, headaches and back pain. Walking strengthens the body and helps position the spine in its upright natural shape. When walking properly you naturally adopt proper posture.
The average person burns around 40 calories per 1,000 steps, this means a daily step count goal of 10,000 steps equates to an extra 400 calories burnt. Depending on your body composition, diet, and general level of activity, being in a calorie deficit will help you drop those extra kgs.
Decrease Spinal Stress & Improve Mobility
Walking is a low impact exercise that assists in improving flexibility and mobility. Accompanied by your rehabilitation program and chiropractic care, walking can help improve flexibility and lead to a better range of motion.
Most of us can do it and you don’t need a membership to sign up to this lifetime club. But that doesn’t mean it is easy for everyone to get into walking, because of this we have compiled a small list of tips and tricks for first time brisk walkers:
- Pick a time in the day and schedule it in, like you would an appointment, that way it’s a priority and not an option. Make sure the time works best for you, whether it’s in the morning before the day starts, or after work to get moving after a long day. Walking works around your schedule.
- Tying walking into your lunch break is a great way to have a midday unwind and have some time to yourself.
- Grab a walking buddy! Haven’t seen your best friend in while? Lock in a time to walk and talk so you can catch up while working out.
- Set goals! Start with 10,000 steps a day and when you start to hit those with ease move to 15,000 and so on.
Obviously, we are not exactly re-inventing the wheel here when discussing the benefits of walking. But that is the problem is often we miss out on the simple small daily changes which can make huge changes over the long term. So get out there and get moving!