Taking a walk is one of the most basic things a human can do. Whether you are going from one part of the house to another, to the store or to the mailbox, you know how to walk. What you may not realize is that you are doing something that is fundamental for your health. Walking is one of the single best exercises you can do. That is why you can expect your chiropractor to recommend walking. Improved cardiovascular health, better mood, weight loss—walking does so much for you. If it was a pill, everyone would be taking it.
Benefits of Walking for Chiropractic Patients
When you come to the chiropractor, chances are you are seeking help for a condition that is painful and/or uncomfortable. Back pain, leg pain, neck pain, etc. You may also make regular visits to the chiropractor for your overall health, as scheduled adjustments can help you feel better over the long-term.
Hearing your chiropractor recommend walking can be surprising, especially when you are expecting an adjustment or some other immediate type of care (don’t worry, you can still get your adjustment.) But there are reasons for the recommendation, reasons that fit perfectly into the goals of chiropractic care. These include:
1. Walking will help you lose weight.
Every extra pound you carry puts exponential pressure on your joints, including your back. Your chiropractor wants you to lose weight to protect your joints and minimize your pain and chance of injury.
Just 30 minutes a day of walking is enough to steadily shed pounds. Start with a 20-minute walk a day and gradually increase your time. Ideally, you should get 10,000 steps a day for fitness (a pedometer is helpful for measuring your steps.)
2. Walking will improve your mood.
Commercial products and pharmaceuticals are constantly offered to the public as mood lifters, and some of them may work—but most carry significant side effects. Walking will also improve your mood, and it’s main side effect is weight loss.
Studies have demonstrated that walking lowers feelings of anger and hostility. Walking is recommended for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the condition that tends to show up as the days get darker and shorter.
Walking can also be helpful after an upsetting situation. If you take a walk, you will probably find you feel a little calmer and more in control when you return.
3. Walking will lower your risk of chronic disease.
There have been several studies that have shown walking can reduce the risk of chronic disease. One study found that people who walked five days a week for 30 minutes or more had 30% less chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Other studies have shown it reduces blood pressure and most likely reduces the risk of having a stroke.
4. Walking improves digestion.
Having regular, predictable digestion makes life easier and more enjoyable. There are plenty of ways that people try to improve their digestion—ranging from a cup of coffee in the morning to fiber supplements. Walking is another way you can become more regular. The movement of walking aids in digestion, so much so that people who have gone through abdominal surgery are required to walk because of its positive effects on digestion.
Watch What Walking Does to Your Body
Check out this video and discover exactly what happens to your body when you walk:
Your Partner in Good Health—Our Chiropractic Team
If you have questions about walking or any other lifestyle changes that can improve your health, please contact us and schedule an appointment. Our chiropractic team is here to help you enjoy optimal health!