From pilates and yoga to swimming and lifting weights, there are dozens of ways you can exercise. However, if you talk to one of our Fareham chiropractors at Homewood Chiropractic, they will say there is one form of exercise that stands above the rest — walking.
Chiropractors recommend walking because it is a low impact form of exercise that can improve the health of the spine. It is also enjoyable, relaxing, and suitable for individuals who haven’t exercised in a while.
In this post, our Fareham chiropractor shares some of the health benefits of walking and a few of the best walking spots in and around Fareham.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Walking?
Protects the spine
Walking strengthens the muscles which support the spine. This can improve spinal stability and protects your spine from injury. The risk of spinal misalignment or postural issues occurring is also reduced if you are a regular walker.
Improved bone density
All weight bearing and resistance exercises will slow bone mineral loss, which protects your bone density. Walking is particularly useful for maintaining bone density in the legs, feet, hips, and lower back, which helps you remain mobile as you age.
Great for the cardiovascular system
Walking is a wonderful form of aerobic exercise, increasing blood flow and boosting the health of the cardiovascular system. Regular walking sessions will reduce your risk of heart disease significantly and increase your aerobic capacity.
Great for weight loss
When combined with a nutritious diet, walking is a wonderful way to burn calories and lose weight.
Less joint paint
Regular walking will help to strengthen the muscles that support joints and provide additional lubrication to your joints. This makes it a wonderful form of exercise for anyone suffering from knee, hip, or lower back pain.
Advice For Getting Started
Seek advice from a Fareham chiropractor
If you haven’t exercised in quite a while or are experiencing some joint problems, have a chat with a Fareham chiropractor before you begin. They will perform an examination to determine if you can safely exercise. A chiropractor can also help you develop an exercise plan and show you a few stretches to perform before you begin each session.
Set a long term goal of 10,000 steps a day
Most health experts suggest that the average person should walk at least 10,000 steps per day. Given that most people already walk between 3,000 to 4,000 steps just walking around their home each day, extending it to 10,000 should not be too hard.
Gradually increase the distance and pace of your walks
If you haven’t exercised for a while, take your time and gradually increase the distance of each walk. Walk at a relaxed pace at first then gradually increase your speed over time. It’s better to slowly improve instead of overdoing it and injuring yourself.
Stretch before and after you walk
Although walking is a low impact activity, you should still stretch your muscles before you begin each workout. Our chiropractic team can offer advice and tips on stretching your muscles out properly.
Add more walking to your daily activities
If you don’t have time for a long walk, look for opportunities to walk more often throughout the day. Walk to the shops instead of taking the car, walk up stairs instead of using the escalator, walk around the house while on your phone and so on. It’s amazing how quickly these small actions can increase your fitness levels.
Join a walking group – COVID Rules permitting
There are several walking groups in Fareham and surrounding areas. Most of these groups will have multiple organised walks each week which visit beautiful locations in-and-around Fareham. Joining one of these groups can help you make walking a regular part of your week and expand your social circle.
Where Are The Best Walking Routes In Fareham?
There are dozens of incredible walking locations in Fareham. Here are just a few of the best:
- Fareham Quay
Once a busy commercial sailing port, Fareham Quay is a spectacular location for a waterside walk. The old mills and waterside buildings add plenty of character and the sea breezes are lovely.
- Cams Hall
This recently restored Georgian mansion is surrounded by beautiful parklands and outbuildings. There is an extensive network of footpaths to walk along.
- Fareham Creek
This is a beautiful part of Fareham which has retained its wooded banks and grassland. You will see plenty of birdlife as you explore the trails in this area.
- Portchester Castle
Portchester Castle is a beautiful old castle in Dorchester East. There are several footpaths and walking trails to explore on the castle grounds.
Fareham council has shared some of their favourite walks on their website. Visit this link to learn more.
Walking is really a wonderful form of exercise which offers physical and mental health benefits.