With the weather warming up, we know you’re itching to take a walk around the block and soak up some sunshine. Walking is a great form of low impact aerobic exercise for people of all fitness levels. It provides all of the benefits other forms of aerobic activity provide without the added stress on your joints. We recommend walking for exercise to our patients with ongoing or recurring back pain, or for those recovering from surgery.
Benefits Of Walking For Exercise
Strengthen Muscles and Bones
Walking for exercise helps to strengthen both your muscles and bones. When the muscles in your feet, legs, hips, and torso become stronger, they increase your spine’s stability and condition the muscles to hold your body upright. The stronger these muscles are, the less susceptible you are to back pain and spinal injuries.
Nourish Your Spine
Walking provides nourishment for your spinal structures. Because it’s an aerobic activity, it improves your body’s circulation. Improved circulation helps pump nutrients into your spine’s soft tissues and drain toxins.
Improve Flexibility and Posture
Walking for exercise can help improve your flexibility and posture. When combined, walking and stretching allow your joints to have a greater range of motion.
Protect Your Bones
Walking reduces bone density loss, which helps to prevent osteoporosis and lessens pain caused by osteoarthritis.
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Good Posture Is Key
However, like every other aspect of daily life, posture is the key to a healthy spine. Your feet help to keep your body balanced and aligned, and any imbalance in your feet can cause weight to be distributed improperly.
This imbalance can affect your gait while walking, leading to muscle and back pain. While the imbalance may seem minimal, over time the unnecessary wear and tear can add up to serious damage to your spine.
A proper pair of walking shoes can prevent an imbalance from occurring. To find the correct pair, we recommend you visit a shoe store that can match shoes based on your natural gait.
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And, as always, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise regime. While walking for exercise is beneficial for most, it may not be a suitable exercise for all.
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