Over the past several decades a poor approach of waiting until there’s a problem with our bodies before doing something has taken hold in society.
If, however, we work on tackling the root issue, we will see a broad improvement in all aspects of our health. We will also decrease the burden on the healthcare system! This method of tackling problems before they arise is called “preventative health.”
This article is geared at discussing one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting started with your own preventative health: walking.
Is walking good for you?
The benefits of regular exercise and walking have been proven and documented over and over again within healthcare research. If you have ever wondered if walking promotes good health, here are some things to consider:
- Walking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, as well as maintain strength and mobility in your joints.
- A regular walking program can help to relieve pain associated with many common conditions such:
- Lower back and neck pain
- Hip pain
- Walking burns calories and helps us maintain a healthy weight. This decreases our risk of developing a variety of common diseases such as:
- Type II Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Some forms of cancer
- Walking is a “load bearing” activity, and therefore helps to strengthen our bones and joints. It can help prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
- Walking is excellent for your mental health
- It encourages the release of endorphins in our bodies. These endorphins help to make us feel sharper, happier and more full of vitality. This offers us a natural resistance to many forms of depression and poor mental health.
- Walking has also been shown to decrease our risk for developing dementia. A condition that affects approximately 1 in 14 people over the age of 65.
- Walking can be a social event, something that can be enjoyed with friends and family!
How can I begin my own walking program?
You may be asking yourself “how do I get started?” It can be as simple as heading outdoors and starting to walk. Before you begin here are a few tips that will help you design a walking program, have more fun, and ensure success:
- Consult your Physiotherapist or GP:
- It’s very important to get medical advice to determine safe limits for exercise and activity, especially if you have not been very active in quite a while.
- Discussing your health and past medical history with your Physiotherapist or GP will ensure that your walking program is safe.
- Set some Goals!!
- You should start setting yourself realistic and achievable goals over a time period of weeks and even months
- This is a great way to make sure that your walking program is a success! It will help you stick with it in the long-run, always working towards your next goal!
- Remember not to push yourself too hard at the start. Gradually increase the duration or distance that you plan on walking as your fitness levels rises
- Find a friend to share the walk with!
- Walking improves your mental well-being just as it improves your physical health. Sharing the walk with a friend, family member, or walking group helps to maximise the mental benefits of walking. It adds an extra level of satisfaction to the activity!
If you are considering starting a regular walking or exercise program, make sure to consult your GP and call us at My Mobile Physio today! We take pride in guiding your first steps towards preventative healthcare – https://mymobilephysio.com.au/our-services/