HEALTH: Just start walking
Walking – it’s the simplest thing you can do to give yourself a workout. Keep in mind that moving is improving. Even 15 minutes a day can start you on the way to an activity habit.
Walking is the easiest choice when the weather is agreeable, but don’t let a little rain or light snow keep you indoors.
Here are some tips to get the most out of it:
Dress properly. In mild weather, wear several light layers so that you can remove a layer as your body warms up from the activity. If it’s a chilly day, bring gloves and a hat. You want to be comfortable and enjoy your walk.
Wear supportive shoes. Thin-soled, untied or loose-fitting shoes may result in a twisted ankle or sore arches – not the benefit you are looking for! Wear footwear that is appropriate for the weather – your walk will not be enjoyable with cold or wet feet.
Bring a bottle of water. It’s surprising how quickly you may become thirsty, even on a short walk.
Get your arms moving while you walk. Swing them gently front to back. As an added bonus, it will limber up your shoulder joints and muscles.
Walk at a comfortable, brisk pace. The quicker the walk, the greater the benefits.
A companion is a good idea. Ask your partner, a friend or one of your children to come along with you.
When to Walk
Getting into the activity habit is easiest if you choose a specific time each day. If you are a morning person, that might be before you go to work or after the kids are off to school.
Not a morning person? A walk on your lunch break will work up an appetite and help your digestion.
Alternatively, if evening is the best time for you, schedule your walk after dinner and evening chores are completed.
The important thing is to decide on the best time for you and try not to allow other things to get in the way.
Look at your walk as an enjoyable break in your day – a time when there are no chores to do or deadlines to meet. Breathe deeply. Look up at the sky, the trees and the rooftops. Smile. Life gets better when you fit in a walk.
For more information on health and safety visit the Ontario Chiropractic Association, a voluntary professional association whose mission is to serve our members and the public by advancing the understanding and use of chiropractic care. www.chiropractic.on.ca or call 1877-327-2273; Dr. George Traitses, 416-499-5656, www.infinite-health.com