Getting fitter or getting healthier are often goals people set themselves at the start of a new year. For many people taking regular exercise often conjures up images of gyms, exercise equipment and maybe even personal trainers.
However, there is a fantastic low impact form of exercise that most everyone at any age can benefit from taking part in regularly that requires little to no financial investment.
It may very well surprise you that the exercise that our London chiropractors at MotionBack Chiropractic Clinic recommend is walking.
In this post, our London chiropractor shares some of the health benefits of walking, advice for getting started and a few of the best walking spots in and around central London to get started.
Don’t Underestimate the Many Benefits Of Walking
Because walking is something that can be done almost anywhere without the need for special equipment or clothing, it is easy to underestimate how beneficial regular walking can be to your health.
Incorporating walking into your daily routine can have many benefits including:
Protecting the spine
Walking protects the spine by strengthening the muscles that support the spine through natural resistance thus improving the stability of the spine and protecting it from injury.
Improving bone density
Bones naturally become less dense as you age which lowers their strength and makes them more susceptible to breaking or fracturing. Walking gets your heart pumping fast enough that it forces your body to pump blood harder throughout the entire skeletal system, which causes the bone cells to release calcium into your blood stream. This provides improved circulation and nourishment to your bones.
Giving the cardiovascular system a workout
When exercising, you’re giving your cardiovascular system a workout and improving its overall health and function. A healthy heart and lungs will strengthen your immune system, increase energy levels and make everyday activities much easier. With regular walking sessions, you can also reduce your resting heart rate.
Lessen joint pain
There are many ways that walking can help lessen joint pain. Walking gets the leg muscles moving and uses different muscles that you use on a daily basis. Joint pain can occur as a result of overuse of certain muscle groups. By taking up walking, the affected muscles will re-balance and strengthen to accommodate for any imbalances. This can also decrease joint pain in the knees in hips. Walking is also low impact, so it puts far less strain on joints than other types of exercise.
Helping with weight loss
When combined with a healthy diet, walking can improve your chances of losing weight. It also increases metabolism, so you’ll be burning more calories, even when resting. And of course, walking is a great way to burn fat and tone up.
Getting Started On The Right Foot …
Before starting any form of exercise, it is recommended that you seek advice from your GP, chiropractor or other healthcare practitioner to ensure that the exercise is appropriate for your specific need.
Aim for 10,000 steps a day
Whilst there is some dispute as to the exact number of daily steps to aim for, it’s good to have a number to target. If you haven’t exercised in some time you may want to gradually build up towards achieving 10,000 steps a day. There are plenty of apps that you can use to track the number of steps you do each day, so you can monitor your progress.
It is all too easy to get carried away on your first outing and find that you have over done it and put yourself out of action for a few days! Start at a pace that you are comfortable with and gradually pick up your pace over several weeks. You’ll be surprised how much you can increase your pace.
Remember to stretch before and after
Even though walking is a low impact form of exercise, do some simple stretches before and after your walk to avoid injuries.
Spread steps throughout the day
If taking one long walk a day is too difficult or time consuming don’t be put off. Look to add more steps by changing what you do e.g., walk around while talking on the phone, use the stairs instead of lifts or escalators, park further away to where you are going than you would normally or leave the car at home and walk. It’s surprising how all these extra steps add up during the day!
Walking in Central London
We’re fortunate to have some lovely areas to walk in Central London. Here are our London chiropractors’ top three places to get a brisk walk in.
St James’s Park
St James’s Park is the oldest Royal Park in London. It can get busy, but it is a lovely green space with plenty of wildlife to see, including its most famous residents: the pelicans!
If you want to stretch your legs further, you can cross over to Green Park and then onto Hyde Park!
Covering an area of 395 acres, not only does Regent’s Park offer large open spaces with tree-lined pathways, but it also contains central London’s largest outdoor sports area.
If you want to get some more steps in, you can take in some spectacular views of the London skyline by walking up Primrose Hill.
Inner Temple Garden
This three-acre garden is one of the four Inns of Court between Temple and Blackfriars. It is closed to the public at weekends. During the week is offers idyllic surroundings and you can take in the birds, bees, and blooms while you clock up your daily steps!
Walking is a great low impact form of exercise which has some great health benefits. Why not take the first step to better health in 2022 by making walking your number 1 choice of exercise.
Visiting Our London Chiropractors at MotionBack
Our London Chiropractors at MotionBack have been successfully helping patients find relief from back pain, neck pain, migraine and more for nearly a decade.
If you are suffering, our experienced team of chiropractors at MotionBack Chiropractic Clinic in London are here to help. To book an appointment with one of our team, call our clinic on 0207 7112 5408 or you can book online on our website here.