Putting one foot in front of the other to walk is something that can easily be taken for granted and, for many, it is just a way to get things done in everyday life, but did you know that taking intentional time out to go for a walk offers incredible health benefits? We get it, if the thought of going for a walk for the sake of walking feels strange you are certainly not alone. If it’s not something you are used to doing, going outside to enjoy a walk without having a purpose, like picking up groceries from the shop for example, can seem a little unusual at first. But before you stop reading the blog we encourage you to keep going! As walking is one of the simplest and most effective ways to exercise and take care of your body, and as chiropractors, it is something we highly recommend. Here are 4 ways that walking can enhance your health: 1. Improves your creativity
If you want to get your creative juices flowing, whether it be to ponder on a new project, solve a problem, or simply increase daily motivation, then walking is the activity for you. A research study at Stanford University found that a person’s creative output increased by an average of 60% when walking in comparison to sitting, and the effects continued following the walk too1! It’s not surprising that some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs now take their meetings outside whilst walking. 2. Reduces stress
Taking a walk, particularly outside in nature, has been shown to help reduce the stress hormone cortisol, whilst increasing serotonin, your happy hormone2. So if you are having one of those days, or simply want to elevate your mood, getting a dose of nature and fresh air whilst walking may just do the trick to turn things around. 3. Increases life expectancy
Every system of your body is used when you are walking, from your brain, to your heart, to your muscles, and even your digestive system. It has been suggested that those who walk regularly at a brisk pace are more likely to live a longer and healthier life, certainly a motivator to get yourself moving3! 4. Reduces joint pain
Movement for your joints is like WD40 for a hinge; it helps to keep joints lubricated and mobile. If you struggle with joint pain, or stiffness, or want to prevent issues from occurring in the future then walking regularly can help. Not only is it helpful for the obvious joints like knees and hips, but it has a positive effect on all areas, including your spine! Walking is low impact too and can be adapted to suit your needs. For example, if you find walking outside difficult, how about starting small by taking some extra steps in your home, using a treadmill, or walking some lengths in your local swimming pool? So, if you can, why not factor in some time for you this week and enjoy a walk? It doesn't have to be a long hike in the hills, it could be a simple 10-minute walk around the block. Remember, it’s the little things done consistently that make a big difference over time. If you are struggling to walk due to frustrating aches or pains then please reach out and we can let you know if we can help. We can also offer more tailored advice to help you get started.
Olafsdottir, G., Cloke, P., & Vogele, C. (2018). Health Benefits of Walking in Nature: A Randomized Controlled Study Under Conditions of Real-Life Stress. SAGE Journals, 52(3). Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916518800798?journalCode=eaba
Stanford News. (2014, April 24). Stanford study finds walking improves creativity. Retrieved from Stanford News: https://news.stanford.edu/2014/04/24/walking-vs-sitting-042414/
Zaccardi, F., Davies, M., Khunti, K., & Yates, T. (2019). Comparative Relevance of Physical Fitness and Adiposity on Life Expectancy. Mayo Clinic, 94(6), 985-994. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(19)30063-1/fulltext
The content of this blog is for educational purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.