Health Topic Archives

Walking: Health and Fitness, One Step at a Time

While some fitness enthusiasts relentlessly seek out the latest, trendiest exercise crazes, others are returning to good, old-fashioned walking to help them feel great and get into shape. Whether enjoying the wonder of nature, or simply the company of a friend, walking can be a healthy, invigorating experience. Thanks to its convenience and simplicity, walking just might be right for you, too. And except for a good pair of walking shoes, it requires virtually no equipment.

Research shows a sedentary lifestyle has a debilitating effect on our health as we age, therefore exercise is imperative. Walking accomplishes all of the following and more:

Selecting Shoes

Too many people choose fashion over function when purchasing running shoes, not realizing that poor-fitting shoes can do more than hurt their stride; they can also lead to pain throughout the body.

Once you have purchased a pair of shoes, don’t walk them into the ground. While estimates vary as to when the best time to replace old shoes is, most experts agree that between 300 and 500 miles is optimal.

Getting Started

Walking just 12 minutes every other day can offer important health benefits. But in order to increase your longevity, try to work up to 30 minutes, five days per week. Experts generally agree that to be considered “active,” adults should try to take 10,000 steps each day. Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track your progress.

The following tips can help you get started on your walking regimen:

Of course, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Walking Surfaces

Some walking surfaces are better than others on your musculoskeletal system.

Pain and Injury

While you may experience pain or injury in a particular area (such as a knee or a hip), the root of the problem may lie elsewhere. Injuries of this nature are not regional, or isolated, but systemic. A problem in the foot or ankle can create an imbalance in every step, leading to discomfort or injury that moves to the knees, hips, low back, or other regions of the body. If you suffer from pain beyond typical muscle soreness, your doctor of chiropractic can diagnose and treat your pain or injury and get you back on track. Your doctor of chiropractic can also help customize a wellness program that is right for you and has the expertise to help keep you feeling and functioning your best.

© 2015 Copyright American Chiropractic Association.

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