If you ever ask one of our chiropractors at the Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing about the best form of exercise for improving spinal health, flexibility, and general fitness, they will most likely answer with “Walking”.
Chiropractors often recommend walking to their patients as it is a low impact exercise that can be performed by virtually anyone. It improves the condition of the body in many ways, doesn’t cost anything, and can deliver significant improvements in a short amount of time.
To help you enjoy the benefits of walking, this post will share a few locations to go walking in Ealing. It will also explain the benefits of walking and offer a few tips on getting started.
The Many Benefits Of Walking
Walking provides numerous health benefits including:
- Improved spinal stability
This is the main reason why chiropractors often recommend walking to patients. Whenever you walk, you are in an upright position with your core muscles and back muscles engaged. The stronger these muscles become, the better they are at protecting the spine — which reduces the risk of misalignment or postural problems.
- Better bone health
Weight bearing exercises, like walking, work directly on the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine, slowing mineral loss and helping you maintain good bone density.
- Improved blood flow
Any form of aerobic exercise will increase blood flow, which improves the health of your cardiovascular system. Walking also drives more blood flow through the blood vessels surrounding the spine, delivering a supply of oxygen and nutrients to supporting muscles.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, the muscles and joints in the back can become stiff. This can make you prone to back injuries and back pain. Walking loosens up those muscles and joints, giving you more flexibility and improving back health
- Weight loss
Walking is a great way to burn a few extra calories and lose some weight. In addition to making you look great, losing a few extra pounds will take some strain off your back.
- Removal of toxins
Back stiffness can sometimes be caused by a buildup of toxins in the lower back muscles. Walking can help to remove these toxins and alleviate stiffness.
- Eases joint pain
This is another reason why chiropractors will often recommend walking to clients. Walking lubricates and strengthens the muscles which support the joints. So, if you have bad knees or your hips give you pain, walking is usually the best things you can do for your pain relief.
Read this great article from Healthline to learn a few more benefits of walking.
Where To Walk In Ealing
There are many beautiful walking locations in-and-around Ealing. They include trails, parklands, and gardens. Some of the best options include:
- Walpole Park
- Brent Lodge Park
- The Woodlands
- Capital Ring
- Green London Way
There are also several walking groups in Ealing, including Walking For Health. It is an accredited health walk scheme that organises walks on a weekly or monthly basis. The walks are on easy terrain and range from 30 to 60 minutes in duration. It is a great way to socialise and get fit while exploring the local area. Lockdown restrictions may impact the availability of these walks, so please contact the walk leader for information.
Walking Tips From Our Ealing Chiropractor
If you haven’t exercised in a while, check out the tips below. If you have any concerns about your health or how walking may impact your spine, see a doctor or chiropractor before you begin working out.
Warm up first
Although walking is a low impact form of exercise, it is usually worth performing a few stretches before you begin. This will ensure that your muscles and joints are ready for the workout ahead. This short video shares a couple of useful stretches. If you visit our chiropractic clinic your chiropractor will be able to advise you of some useful stretches.
Get a good pair of shoes and dress well
Exercising is much easier if you are dressed in comfortable clothing. Invest in a well made pair of workout shoes and some workout clothing. If you are walking over rough terrain, opt for durable hiking shoes to protect your feet and ankles. Consider the weather you will be walking in. If it’s sunny then it’s a good idea to protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. In wet weather you may want to wear some waterproof clothing.
Take a friend or entertain yourself
Walking is much more enjoyable if you have someone to chat with. Depending on Lockdown rules in place, ask a friend or relative if they would like to accompany you on your next walk. If no one seems interested, take your phone and listen to a podcast, audiobook, or music. It will make the experience much more enjoyable.
Take some water
If the weather is warm or you are walking for longer than 15 minutes, take water so you can rehydrate.
Taking care of your back
If you have a bad back which has necessitated chiropractic treatments in the past, keep the following in mind:
- Keep your walks short at first. Begin with a 5 or 10 minute walk then gradually increase the duration of your sessions each week.
- Focus on posture as you walk. The goal is you keen the natural curve of your spine, so look up, keep your head above your spine and relax your shoulders. Remember to take deep breaths.
- If your back is so painful that walking is too painful, start with some water walking. The buoyancy of the water will reduce the amount of weight place on your spine.
A Final Word From Our Chiropractors
Staying active is important for your physical and mental health. It is especially important for the health of your back. Walking is a great form of exercise so take the first step and make it a part of your daily routine.
At our chiropractic clinic, our aim is to help people live a full and pain free life. If you are currently experiencing back pain or other discomfort, our chiropractors at The Spine & Joint Centre are here to help you. To book an appointment, call us on 020 8900 9004 or 020 8900 9005.