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The Many Benefits of Walking

Adding 30 minutes of walking, five times a week, is the easiest way to prevent or slow the progress of a wide range of health conditions, and a simple routine that’s accessible to an equally wide range of people. Dr. Christopher J Charbonnet and the team at Foothill Pain Management heartily recommend the benefits of a regular walking routine on top of your daily activities. As pain management specialists, they know the power that regular mobility has to improve many aspects of your health. Consider these improvements you could experience with modest changes to your daily routine. 

1. Improve heart health

Almost 7 out of 10 Americans over the age of 60 have some level of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease causes more deaths in the United States than any other illness. Walking helps to strengthen your cardiovascular system, and adding 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week is an easy way to achieve that. 

2. Maintain body weight

You’ll burn about 100 calories for every mile you walk, a low-impact, high-reward activity. Combine walking with a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, and you’ve got a combination that will help you maintain or lose weight while lowering your risks of diabetes and high cholesterol. 

3. Build muscle mass

Lost muscle mass is a common symptom of aging. The strength you once took for granted now needs exercise to maintain. Walking addresses the muscles in your legs and body core, slowing age-related losses. Combining walking with upper body resistance exercises makes a great foundation to keep your strength up. 

4. Maintain mobility

Though it may seem counterintuitive, walking is often the best therapy for those with osteoarthritis. Though it’s a wear-and-tear degenerative condition, continued gentle use of the affected joints often reduces pain and maintains mobility in those joints. Walking can be good for both knee and hip arthritis. 

5. Boost immune system

Walking provides your immune system with a boost too, helping you to fight off colds and flu, ordinary viral conditions that take an increasing toll as you get older. You’ll get sick less often, and you’ll have milder symptoms when you do catch a bug. 

6. Improve sleep

Interruptions in your sleep cycle present their own range of negative health effects. Those extra minutes of activity that you get from a walking program invigorate you throughout the day and contribute to better, longer sleep throughout the night. 

7. Reduce stress

Walking through beautiful woods is soothing for many, but it’s not only the trees that settle you down. You can release endorphins in a walk around the block, giving you a feel-good boost to your esteem while banishing stress and anxiety. 

8. Preserve cognition

It’s normal to forget your keys or important dates as you get older, but the onset of dementia is much more serious. Improving your blood flow with daily walks may help you avoid cognitive decline. 

If you have pain issues that interfere with your ability to walk comfortably for an extra 30 minutes a day, contact Foothill Pain Management to find a way around them. Call the nearest office directly, or request an appointment online. Better health is just a short walk away.

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