“A walk a day keeps the doctor away” is probably not a phrase you’re used to hearing. But chances are you’ll see improvements to your health by adding a 30-minute walk to your daily schedule.
Our bodies are designed to walk. Walking contracts muscles and puts pressure on our bones continually reminding them to rebuild and stay strong. Walking increases dopamine, which reduces stress and helps to clear the mind. Exercise helps our bodies utilize blood sugar more efficiently and makes insulin more effective – an important point for those who are diabetic but also crucial in preventing Type 2 diabetes. Through clinical studies, we know that physical activity not only adds years to our lives, but life to our years.
Sitting too much?
What is more surprising than the benefits of walking, are the consequences of too much sitting. The negative impact of too much sitting can even be seen in those who regularly participate in moderate to vigorous exercise but still spend most of their day sitting.
Translation: 30 minutes of walking or gym time does not mean we can lounge in front of the TV for the rest of the day, or that it’s okay to stay seated for an entire eight-hour work shift.
Did you know sitting is the leading cause of lower back pain? Sitting puts pressure on our hip flexors causing low back muscles to contract. It cuts off adequate blood flow to our lower limbs especially if we cross our legs. This throws off everything from hormones to metabolism to blood pressure. In fact, not walking for a total of an hour a day is considered to put one at high risk for chronic disease – right up there with smoking!
Walking for your heart
At Spartanburg Regional’s Joe R. Utley Heart Resource Center, our goal is to prevent heart disease. We encourage healthy habits in both our employees and the community. Walking is cheap and efficient, but certainly more fun with friends. Join us monthly for a five-minute health talk and 25 minutes of walking. We’ll discuss topics in nutrition, the connection between physical therapy and nutrition, and the importance of worksite wellness, just to name a few. Take a look at our upcoming schedule and come “Walk with us!”