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17

Oct
Healthy Walking

Healthy Walking

32218567 l

Healthy Walking

Walking is a fun way to exercise that doesn’t involve equipment, a gym membership or workout apparel. Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and get moving! That’s simple, from this exercise you will enjoy the tremendous health benefits.

Bone Density and Bone Mass

Walking can help maintain bone density and has been linked to a decreased risk of hip fracture. Any weight-bearing exercise involves support from our bones and helps to keep them strong.

Fall Risk, Balance, Coordination, and Muscle Mass

Walking allows us to maintain strength and muscle mass as we age. It also helps us maintain mobility, as well as balance and coordination. All of these things help to decrease our risk of suffering a fall later in life. Imagine the simple act of swinging our arm forward as we step forward with the opposite leg, touching down with our heel, standing on our foot as we shift our weight and maintain our balance, and later pushing off with our toes. When we walk, the muscles throughout our body fire in a coordinated fashion that helps promote normal neurological function as well as coordination and balance.

Heart Health and Blood Sugar Balance

Walking gets your circulation going and can help normalize blood pressure, especially when combined with deep belly breathing. It can also decrease your risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke, especially when combined with a heart-healthy diet. Walking regularly can help normalize cholesterol, and balance blood sugar as well. Any muscle contraction helps get excess sugar out of the bloodstream. If you are diabetic, be sure to speak to a healthcare provider as you begin incorporating walking into your routine to ensure that your blood sugar does not get too low.

Lymphatic Drainage and Immune Health

Our blood has an active pump – our heart. Our lymph, which is part of our body’s immune and detoxification system, has a different pump – our muscles. As we walk or practice deep belly breathing the contraction and release of our diaphragm, or our other muscles, helps to circulate our lymph. This helps our immune system function optimally, and aids our body in detoxification. Sweating is another way our body detoxifies.

Decreasing Stress and Promoting Mental Health

It is good for your attitude. Want a quick mood boost? Take a walk! Exercise releases endorphins, feel good chemicals that reduce stress and enhance your mood. Plus, you’ll get a surge of energy. Mindful walking, where we systematically bring our attention to our breathing, and then to each of our senses – what we see, hear, smell, feel and taste – can really help to bring our attention to the present moment, triggering a relaxation response.

Exercise can be a very effective way of managing our stress, promoting relaxation and releasing tension. Walking with friends or family members also promotes social resilience by helping us to build and nourish supportive relationships.

Walking should be something you enjoy, and making a habit of it can make it easier to incorporate into your daily routine.

Enjoy walking!

Contributed by:

Esther Peh

Naturopath & Nutritional Therapist of Spectrum Of Life