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Walking: the cure-all exercise

“A 30-minute walk a day keeps the doctor away.” Maybe that’s not quite the phrase you grew up hearing, but at this point it should be old news that walking is one if the easiest and best benefits to your health. It can lead to lower weight, lower stress, lower blood pressure, and it can help reduce your risk of several chronic diseases. But what about walking is so magical, and how can you get the most out of your new walking routine?

It starts with the brain: Research now shows that regular walking alters your nervous system in a way that decreases anger and aggression and increases positive brain work that most often leads to creativity. If you’re walking with a friend or family member, this can also help boost your overall mood throughout the day. And walking outdoors can give your whole body the Vitamin D that it needs to function and remain optimistic, especially in darker winter months.

The full-body experience: Good walking form involves movement through your whole body, and that is why it is one of the leading antidotes to diabetes, strokes, and poor heart health. A short walk of at least 30 minutes a day lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, and the healthy blood flow throughout your body will make your heart thank you later.

How to walk well: But how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of your daily walks? Make sure you are wearing shoes with proper arch support and you’ve mapped a course for yourself with smooth and steady terrain. And even low-stress exercise like walking should begin and end with a warmup, cooldown, and light stretching. Try walking slowly for the first 5 minutes of your walk, then increase the speed for the majority of your route. End your walk with slow steps again, and make sure to gently stretch your arms and legs when you are done.

Have more questions about how to walking can benefit your daily routine? Contact Choice Rehabilitation today! Our therapists specialize in helping you maintain a healthier life and a happier you.

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