Few assertions are less controversial than the statement, “Walking is good for you.” Here are 4 good reasons to get off the chair or couch and go for a stroll.
- To Improve cardiovascular health.
Walking is gentle, effective exercise for your heart, and it’s easy on
your body. In addition to improving cardiovascular health, it also
increases blood circulation in your lower legs and feet (persons with
diabetes take note). When your calf muscles contract, they squeeze blood
upwards giving your heart an assist. Those who are averse to exercising in
a gym setting have no excuse when it comes to taking a quick daily stroll
and getting some fresh air.
- To Lose Weight
It’s encouraging to know that as little as 30 minutes a day of walking can
aid in losing or maintaining weight. A little bit of sustained effort goes
a long way! Walking also suppresses urges to snack afterward.
- To Increase Bone Density
Walking has been confirmed to increase bone density in post-menopausal women. That’s
good news as drugs to prevent bone loss are not without risk. However, the
good news comes with a caveat: the results depend on the long-term walking
habits of the participants in the study – so start your walking habit
- To Reduce Stress and Anxiety
It’s a rare individual indeed who hasn’t gone for a walk to settle their
emotions. When stressed, many begin pacing without realizing it. Walking
is also a great way to break up your workday if you’re sitting a lot and
using a lot of brain energy.
Every walker should be aware of some common foot problems. One of the best ways to prevent future foot problems is wearing quality orthopedic shoes and consulting with a reputable foot clinic, such as Feet First Clinic in Toronto, Ontario.
Corns are a frequent complaint; they’re typically easy to treat, but if not, seek advice. Bunions are a different kind of bump, usually on the side of your big toe. Bunions are caused by the swelling of the membranous sac in the joint. Treatments range from simple — orthopedic shoes, etc. — to involved — foot surgery.
A heel spur and plantar fasciitis can both cause heel pain. Rest, or orthopedic shoes may help. Flat feet are common. Treatment often consists of professionally-fitted orthotic supports. Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the large tendon connecting your heel to your calf muscle and causes the back of your heel to hurt. Orthopedic shoes, rest, or therapy can help. Hammertoes – toes that curl downwards – are best addressed by a foot specialist.
Treatment for swollen feet and ankles can include quality footwear, compression stockings, or diabetic socks. If you suffer from diabetic neuropathy, then you know it can make walking less enjoyable — ask your doctor about a referral to a licensed chiropodist.
Many foot problems can cause gait problems, and there are other contributors like musculoskeletal problems. See a medical professional if need be – the best foot clinics offer video gait analysis to address the problem.
If running is more your speed, use compression socks. These specialty socks reduce muscle vibrations, which reduces fatigue and improves performance.