Charles Dickens said “The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.”
Spine-health.com said walking:
Strengthens muscles in the feet, legs, hips, and torso. Walking increases the stability of the spine and conditions the muscles that keep the body in the upright position.
Nourishes the spinal structures. Walking for exercise facilitates strong circulation, pumping nutrients into soft tissues and draining toxins.
Improves flexibility and posture. Exercise walking along with regular stretching allows greater range of motion; helps prevent awkward movements, and susceptibility of future injury.
Strengthens bones and reduces bone density loss. Regular walking for exercise helps prevent osteoporosis and can aid in reducing osteoarthritis pain.
Increases blood flow. Decreased physical activity can cause the small blood vessels of your spine to become constricted, reducing blood flow to the spinal muscles. Walking helps open up the blood vessels, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to these muscles.
Flushes out toxins. Muscles produce physiologic toxins when they contract and expand. Over time, these toxins can accumulate within the lower back muscle tissues and cause stiffness. Walking helps flush out these toxins and improve flexibility.
I remember the first time I tried to walk outside after my back injury. I read about people with herniated discs and Ankylosing Spondylitis who walked and even ran every morning to help ease their back pain. It seemed like such a foreign idea since I felt like walking across the room some days took every ounce of energy I had.
I signed up for a fundraiser where I would ask for donors to sponsor each mile I walked. I’m an Aries and competitive by nature, so I pushed myself to walk the max that everyone had sponsored. I needed 10 miles in 24 hours, and I did it. My back and hips would burn as if a heating pad had been placed on them and pulsed at times, but I made myself start walking that day, and 8 months later I haven’t stopped.
– Reduce and/or maintain an optimal weight,
– Keep blood pressure under control,
– Improve the levels of total cholesterol,
– Decrease anxiety and depression, and
– Reduce the risk of heart disease and dementia.
I have been so pleased with this treadmill either walking or running. I find it’s easy to type while walking – I’m actually walking on my treadmill as I type this!