October is National Chiropractic Health Month and there's still plenty of time left to create an exercise routine and get moving! This month, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is encouraging people to move more, to #Move4Life. Staying active is an important part of maintaining overall health, and we can strengthen our bodies and help prevent several chronic conditions simply by walking!
Walking accomplishes all of the following and more:
Improves cardiovascular endurance
Tones muscles of the lower body
Reduces risk of heart disease
Burns calories: about 80 if walking 2 miles per hour and about 107 if walking 4.5 miles per hour
Walking for just 12 minutes every other day can offer important health benefits, but in order to increase your longevity, you should try to walk for 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 or an activity tracker is an easy way to track your progress.
The following tips can help you get started on your walking regimen:
Move your arms freely, in coordination with the opposite leg.
Don't stoop your head or look down as you walk. This will challenge the normal forward curve of your neck, which in turn will cause you to carry your weight improperly.
Don't carry weights or dumbbells while walking. They're better used as a separate part of your exercise regime.
Expect a little soreness in the thighs and calves for the first week or two. If you experience more than soreness, consult your doctor of chiropractic.
Walk briskly, with "purpose." Simply sauntering, while relaxing, is not an effective form of cardiovascular exercise.
Stay hydrated. You should drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily.
Avoid caffeinated drinks, including energy drinks, prior to and during your walk. They can cause dehydration and a racing heartbeat.
NOTE: In case it’s not obvious, the image was not included in the ACA’s message, but was instead taken from the internet. We’ve been walking for a LONG TIME. Don’t stop now!