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Posts Tagged ‘Walking; back injury; Walk for fitness; physical activity;’

I used to spend a lot of time walking when I suffered my back injury, and it was a saving grace. I always knew walking was a great way for anyone to be active safely, regardless of their fitness level, but it was never something I put dedicated time into, at least until I herniated a disc. Walking was pretty much the only form of exercise I could do at that point, and it was the only thing that helped to relieve my back pain.

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It stretched all of my muscles out regularly and helped to keep my back muscles strong before undergoing surgery. Walking has many more benefits than this though and can definitely be part of any healthy daily routine. Remember to discuss increasing your physical activity level with your health care provider.

Walking is a low impact form of exercise that nearly everyone can do. Aim for 10,000 steps each day, which equates to almost 5 miles! It may seem like a lot, but reaching this step goal daily is very doable, especially if you incorporate a dedicated walk into each of your days. Take a walk during your lunch break, suggest a walking meeting, walk your dog, or explore a new park with a friend. Check out your local animal shelter; many have a need for a volunteers to walk the shelter dogs. There are also plenty of free walking groups available in communities everywhere, so be sure to check yours to find a walking group near you! Can you find ways to make walking fun and doable?

The Surgeon General has recently made a call to action for all of us to walk more. Walking has been shown to improve overall health in a number of ways. It can help to lower blood pressure, strengthen muscles, keep blood sugar better regulated, and can even help us to lose some body size when we walk consistently enough. These benefits and more can be achieved just by walking a little more each day. We all have to start somewhere, so whether you walk 5 miles or 15 feet that first day, it’s still better than sitting all day long. Just adding a few more steps each day will have you hitting 10,000 steps in no time!

There’s no better time than the present to start walking and leading a healthier life. My husband and I love to take our dog for long walks, and he loves it too. Ever since my back injury, when I truly learned the importance of walking, we have made it a priority in our everyday lives. Hopefully you can find a place and buddy to walk with that helps you to love walking as much as we do!

Sources:

https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/walking-and-walkable-communities/index.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14715035

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/doi/10.1111/hsc.12424/full

Rives, David. Walk Yourself Fit. 2015.

 

Author: Amy Meehan, MPH, Family and Consumer Sciences Healthy People Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, State Office, meehan.89@osu.edu

 

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

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