Most of us can do it, and you don’t need a gym membership to sign up to this lifetime club. You know it, you love it, and you do it every day… it’s walking!
We talk about walking a lot, but that’s because we want to stress how great it is, not only for your spinal health, but overall fitness and wellbeing.
Just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking can increase your cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness, reduce your risk of heart disease, increase your muscle strength and endurance, and improve your spinal health.
Not only does walking create a naturally upright posture, but it restores the hydration to your spinal discs. Through everyday movement, the pressure on our spinal discs causes the squeezing out of the disc’s water, and walking helps to allow for a higher flow of circulation, resulting in increased circulation of water to the discs.
Here are some tips and tricks for first time brisk walkers:
1. 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.
2. Pick a time that works best for you, whether it’s in the morning before the day starts, or after work to get moving after sitting down all day. Walking works around your schedule.
3. Tie walking into your commute by either parking further from your destination or getting off at an earlier stop and walk the rest of the way.
4. 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.
5. 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, there’s no such thing as too much walking.
6. Take the first steps, for a lifetime of healthy living.
Extra challenge: Test yourself by ignoring your phone for the duration of the walk. That way you can practice good posture as well as avoid the dreaded ‘text neck’ pain caused from looking down and opening your eyes to the world around you.
So what are you waiting for? Step outside and smell the roses (literally!), and start walking your way to a healthier life.