Sedentary lifestyles are the root cause of many obesity-related diseases and neuromuscular conditions. Research shows an inactive lifestyle has a debilitating effect on our cardiovascular and muscle health as we age, therefore exercise is imperative. This is why chiropractic physicians often advise walking more to help relieve low back pain and boost overall wellness.
"Americans today take significantly fewer steps than previous generations, and they spend a great deal more time in sedentary positions," says Scott Bautch, DC, DACBOH, CCST, CCSP, a member of the American Chiropractic Association's (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. "Adding more motion to your life can be a huge step toward living well and simply taking a 30-minute walk each day is a great way to recoup the steps that are missing from your day."
ACA advises you to follow these tips to help you get started in your walking regimen:
•Make sure the shoes you purchase fit properly. The balls of your feet should rest exactly at the point where the toe end of the shoe bends during walking.
•Select shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb impact.
•Shop for sneakers at the end of the day or after a workout when your feet are generally at their largest. Wear the type of socks you usually wear during exercise.
•When trying on shoes, be sure to wear them for at least 10 minutes at the store.
•Once you have purchased a pair of shoes, don't wear them out. While estimates vary as to when the best time to replace old shoes is, most experts agree that between 300 and 500 miles is optimal.
•Move your arms freely, in coordination with the opposite leg.
•Don't stoop your head or look down as you walk. This will challenge the normal forward curve of your neck, which, in turn, will cause you to carry your weight improperly.
•Don't carry weights or dumbbells while walking. They're better used as a separate part of your exercise regimen.
•Walking on a cushioned or rubberized track is ideal, because the cushioning of this type of track absorbs most of the impact of your walking. Many recreation centers offer this type of track free of charge.
•Expect a little soreness in the thighs and calves for the first week or two. If you experience more than soreness, check with your doctor of chiropractic (DC).
While you may experience pain or injury in a particular area (such as a knee or a hip), the root of the problem may lie elsewhere. Injuries of this nature are not regional, or isolated, but systemic. A problem in the foot or ankle can create an imbalance in every step, leading to discomfort or injury that moves to the knees, hips, low back, or other regions of the body. If you suffer from pain beyond typical muscle soreness, your local DC can diagnose and treat your pain or injury and get you back on track. Your DC can also help customize a wellness program that is right for you and has the expertise to help keep you feeling and functioning your best.
American Chiropractic Association