The Extreme Accessibility and Underrated Value of Walking

Read on for a simplistic and supportive reminder 

As the season transitions, as the air gets colder and the days get shorter, the resistance to put on the exercise gears may ripen. The encouraging team player that comes with winter walking is WINTER WOOLIES! Wrap up in your cosy thermals, gloves, scarfs and beanies, and trek the trails and pace the pavements. Its FREE – No gym membership required! This primal movement and adventure will cost you nada, improving your health and your wealth one step at a time! (Yay to the intended pun 😉)

As Chiropractors we strongly encourage walking for nearly everyone as it is a low-impact exercise that goes easy on your heart and joints. It strengthens the muscular and skeletal system; plus, regular walking can lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss.

We all want great digestion which is a flow on effect from staying hydrated and maintaining healthy food choices, however walking also supports a well-functioning digestive system. Walking after meals is great habit to embrace – go on, give it a red-hot go!

With winter already here, a robust immune system is ideal and walking is a great way to boost your immunity. Walking at least 30 minutes a day can support the activities of the immune cells, namely, the B-cells, T-cells, and the natural killer cells. It helps release the white blood cells at a faster rate, thereby allowing your body to heal quickly.

When you walk, you naturally breathe in more oxygen as compared to when you are stationary. This exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide at a larger volume can help increase your lung capacity, thereby increasing your stamina and exercise performance. Additionally, if you go at the right time of day and the sun is having a brilliant go of saying hello, then BOOM –  there is your delightful dose of vitamin D.

We have zoomed through the physical perks, however there is also an array of mentalemotional and social benefits to acknowledge.

Walking can reduce the stress levels by improving circulation, which in turn, provides nutrients and oxygen to the cells. It also stimulates the nervous system receptors and decreases the production of the stress hormones. More often than not walking uplifts the mood and increases productivity; strolling frequently can make you more active and energetic. Once you’re getting an adequate amount of walking under your belt while you’re studying or working, you may notice your memory, agility, and your reaction to different stimuli significantly change for the better.

Many creatives have expressed that walking deeply assists their creativity and vision. It calms the nerves and relaxes the brain, supporting the ability to think strategically and with clarity.

Above all, walking with another, or a group, elevates interpersonal connections, and the value of these are often hugely underrated. In order for our well-being to truly thrive, social and emotional connection is paramount – nurture it.  

Here are some awesome tips

  • Embrace incidental movement – take the stairs instead of the lift and/or escalator
  • Park the car before reaching the destination and walk the remainder
  • If you’re on a lunch break, and fortunate enough to live in Melbourne, visit your closest park; Be it The ‘Tan, Albert Park, Fitzroy Gardens, or along the Yarra. Even a touch of ‘window shopping’ won’t lead you astray. If it’s raining, grab your brolly and boots, or alternatively go to the gym and watch your fave tv series while on the treadmill – before you know it you will have clocked up 5kms while having a laugh!

What you may want to enhance your walking experience

  • If you walk to your office, wear your office clothes and a pair of comfortable shoes. You can change your footwear when you get there
  • Motivation – a hot playlist, a great podcast, or an awesome audible book
  • A dog to encourage you and attract social engagements 😉
  • Explore different paths every day
  • Join a walking group
  • Go on hiking trips
  • Walk for a social cause

Recommended reads
Webpage – The Urban List (Best walks near Melbourne)
Book – Spark : The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain written by John J Ratey

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