Why is walking good for you? Walking stimulates the release of endorphins, your body’s pain-inhibiting hormones. And it’s just good to get out and about !
Regular, gentle exercise can help improve your body’s general functionality. Walking is particularly good because it is less likely to damage the joints than other weight bearing activities like running and helps maintain bone density. BUT… unless your back is in balance there’s a danger that it won’t be able to adequately support you even for the gentlest of exercise.
If your back is in balance, walking can help strengthen your bones and muscles, including those in your feet, legs, hips and back, along with the muscles that hold you upright. Stretching and then walking will improve your back’s flexibility, range of motion and posture, which can help prevent future back pain or reduce its severity.
Give it a try
It’s good to walk as rapidly as you can without becoming breathless or unable to hold a conversation. Be conscious of your “core” abdominal muscles – these support your back so keep your tummy slightly tucked in and keep as upright as possible. Allow your arms to relax and swing by your side as you walk. Start slowly and for short periods and build up over time until you’re managing 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week.
Before you start
Stretch gently to release your neck, arms, hips, legs, hamstrings and ankles. And because your feet are crucial in keeping your body aligned, make sure you have well-fitting, suitable shoes to wear!