Walking and Me
Should we really walk the walk?
And I’m not talking just about practicing what you preach:
Side note: Everything I talk about, I practice it on an everyday basis with myself and/or my patients! I’m talking about literal walking here.
So the answer to “should we really walk the walk" is----Well, Yes!
Our modern home and work environment, i.e. sitting in front of a computer, driving in traffic and binging on our favorite show has us sitting around allot. Sometimes you just want to get home after work, get in your comfortable clothes and chill until it’s bedtime. I get it.
It’s a concern if it becomes the everyday norm. Lack of everyday physical activity and exercise training, predisposes people to chronic diseases as diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension and coronary artery diseases. ( Tschentscher, M., Niederseer, D., & Niebauer, J. (2012, December 17).
If your lifestyle involves busy schedules, no time to hit the gym and barely any time for yourself, you can make a difference in your body by something as simple as walking!
A few of the many benefits of walking includes:
Increased circulation to the spine
The motion of walking increases your circulation allowing your blood to carry vital nutrients to your spine, organs, and the rest of the body! The continual flow of these nutrients nourishes the spine and the surrounding soft tissues and rehydrates the discs by moving water to where the discs can absorb it.
Interesting fact #1
The disc is avascular and the disc cells depend on diffusion from blood vessels at the disc’s margins to supply the nutrients essential for cellular activity and viability and to remove metabolic wastes such as lactic acid. (Urban et al., 2004)
Interesting fact #2
Loss of nutrient supply can lead to cell death, loss of matrix production, and increase in matrix degradation and hence to disc degeneration. (Urban et al., 2004l)
I have patients ask me how they can maintain the health of their discs. Well, here it is! Just like we need to eat to stay alive, our discs need nutrition to stay alive and well.
We have talked about the importance of posture and how poor posture of the spine can lead to back and neck pain, headache, fatigue, early arthritic changes, etc. Walking with good posture can help you breathe better, strengthen your muscles, reduce muscle fatigue and decrease stress.
Primary and secondary disease prevention
Walking regularly has a positive impact on your resting heart rate, blood pressure, exercise capacity, oxygen intake and quality of life. There are indications at all ages to have an increase in related bone strength when associated with regular walking.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination each week. The guidelines also recommend that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Following these guidelines can contribute to overall health, and decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes.
Walk a little. Walk allot. Yes, walking around the mall counts but I really recommend fresh air.
Adding some light stretches to the mix, along with regular chiropractic treatments will reduce your chance of injury during physical activity. All of this really enhances your spinal health and helps you feel HAPPY AND HEALTHY!
Nutrition of the Intervertebral Disc
Urban, Jill P.G., PhD*; Smith, Stanton, DPhil*; Fairbank, Jeremy C.T., MD, FRCS†