Stepping Into Heart Health

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise because almost anyone can do it. It is easy to do, can be performed anywhere, and doesn’t cost a lot. 

 

Why is walking so beneficial?

  • It improves heart and lung health for overall cardiovascular fitness
  • It is a low-impact form of weight-bearing exercise that stimulates osteoblasts (bone building cells) to improve bone density
  • It helps build leg strength and endurance
  • It can help build arm strength if you pump your arms during quicker speeds
  • It contributes to a healthy body weight
  • It improves overall mood and can reduce signs and symptoms of depression

 

Walking can be a solitary activity or can be performed in a small or large group as a social activity or a friendly competition.

 

Walking can be slow as in a leisurely stroll or fast as in race walking events with USA Track & Field. Yes, race walking is an Olympic event!

 

Walking can be as simple as walking in the neighborhood.

 

Walking can be extremely challenging if transformed into hiking in the Appalachian mountains.

 

Walking can also become rucking with a rucksack in an urban rucking competition or on the local trails.

 

Walking can morph into snowshoeing during winter months, too!

 

Walking can be used as rest or recovery day for athletes or as a family activity that welcomes all ages.

 

Walking is what you make it!

 

The most important thing is to make it fun and do it!

 

Walk in your neighborhood.

Walk on a treadmill.

Walk at the mall.

 

Choose different destinations in your hometown and try to walk at every park at least once each season.

 

Select places to visit for vacation and walk around to tour the area instead of driving. You will see so much more on foot than in a car!

 

However you choose to walk, get a comfortable pair of shoes. I recommend running shoes that you are actually fitted for. I like running shoes for walking because they tend to have more breathability, more cushion, and help propel your foot forward. In addition, they typically come in different types (neutral, stability, or motion control) so can be fitted more correctly to an individual’s foot type.  If you aren’t sure which type of shoes are best for your feet, consult with your local Doctor of Physical Therapy. In my office, I offer Free Movement Screens, make recommendations, and then refer people to a local shoe store where they can be fitted properly. 

 

Regardless of how you walk, where you walk, and when you walk, just get out there and try it!

 

If you would like more of an organized plan, I encourage you to click on this free resource to get you started in a way that minimizes your risk of injury. I also encourage you to check with your physician before starting any exercise program, especially if you have not been exercising for the past 30 days.

 

I wish you the best and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and ask. You can contact me  here.  

 

To Your Best Health,

Dr. Jeanette

 

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