Go for a Walk
Walking is literally the easiest form of exercise you can engage in. After all, most people learn to do it around the time they turn a year old, and continue to do at least a little of it most of the rest of their lives. It can be done anywhere, with no equipment other than a good pair of shoes. Despite its simplicity, walking is also one of the best exercises you can do for overall health and well being.
Benefits of Walking
Mood boost – Walking triggers the release of stress reducing endorphins to help you feel better. Take a walk outside to get the added benefits of sunshine. Invite a friend or two to make it a social activity.
Stimulate creativity – When you’re feeling stuck on a project, sometimes it helps to step away, literally, and go for a walk.
Improve cardiovascular health – Walking is associated with lower blood pressure and improved circulation, both of which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Walking also lowers blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of diabetes.
Stimulate digestion – Walking regularly helps keep the digestive tract working efficiently, helping to prevent constipation.
More energy – Getting up and moving around helps get the heart pumping, the blood flowing, and more oxygen for the blood to deliver to cells throughout the body. All of this adds up to giving you more energy to get things done.
Beat insomnia – If you’re having trouble sleeping, skip the pills and take a walk instead. Taking a thirty minute walk every day helps boost the effects of sleep hormones. Make that walk early in the day and the sunlight will help regulate your circadian rhythm.
Increased strength – You may not see the same kinds of results from walking as you would from lifting weights, but regular walking will increase your core and lower body strength. Pump your arms as you walk to see greater upper body benefits as well. Walking also increases bone mass and can help support joint health.
Sneak more walking into your day
Many experts recommend aiming for 10,000 steps per day, while others recommend walking for thirty minutes a day at least five days a week. While these are both great goals, it’s not necessary to become obsessed with numbers. If you find it difficult to carve out time to go for a thirty minute walk, it may be easier to sneak in those extra steps. Here are some things you can do to get more walking into your day.
Wear comfortable shoes – You don’t need to spent a lot of money on designer running shoes, but if you wear shoes that hurt your feet, you’ll find any excuse not to walk anywhere if it can be avoided.
Find a way to track your progress – This might mean splurging on a pedometer, or finding an app for your smartphone. Either way, find a way to track your progress and make a game of it.
Walk some errands – While walking isn’t always good for big shopping trips, consider walking when you want to rent a movie or go out to eat. If your neighborhood isn’t walker friendly, see if you can consolidate your errands, park the car in a central location, and walk from one place to the next.
Cook dinner – Even in a small kitchen, you may be surprised at how many steps you take walking back and forth between the fridge, counter or table, and stove. Other household chores or yard work will also help you work in more steps.
Pace – When you’re on the phone, watching TV, or waiting for an appointment or any other time you find yourself just sitting.
Walking meetings – If your job involves a lot of meetings, suggest some of them be conducted while taking a walk around the block.
Join (or start) a walking group – Walking with friends is a lot more fun. It’s also harder to make excuses for not walking. Even if you just walk with a friend, knowing that someone is counting on you makes it easier to get up and move.
Go to the mall – When the weather is bad, or if you are in a neighborhood that isn’t conducive to a good walk, a mall or shopping center offers a safe, climate controlled space for walking.
Listen to a podcast – There are dozens of podcasts to suit any taste, or download an audiobook. Either way, if you make a point to only listen while you’re walking, you’ll keep walking to hear what happens next. Opting for upbeat music instead will help you pick up the pace. Whatever you choose, make it something you enjoy and consider it a treat.
To learn more about the benefits of walking and to get the most out of your walk, call your Sunbury chiropractor in Roxburgh Park on (03) 9303 9952 or Sunbury on (03)9746 3977.