Studies have long shown the many health benefits of walking, both as a form of exercise and as a way to improve physical and mental well-being. But did you know that walking can also help promote better spine health?
That’s right! Regular walking is excellent for your heart and can be an effective tool in managing back pain, strengthening core muscles, and increasing overall spinal strength. Let’s dive into how walking and spine health are related and why taking a walk each day may be just what your body needs!
Why is walking beneficial for your spine health?
Walking is an easy and accessible way to improve your spine health. Here are the reasons why:
- Walking helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is essential for maintaining good spine health. Excess body weight strains your vertebrae and discs, leading to poor posture and spinal issues such as sciatica or herniated discs. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking daily to help keep your weight in check.
- Walking can improve your range of motion and flexibility by strengthening the muscles around your spine. When these muscles are strong, they will help support your spine better, reducing the risk of back pain and injury from everyday activities like bending or lifting heavy objects.
- Research has suggested that walking can reduce stress levels which can be beneficial in maintaining good spine health because it helps keep your muscles relaxed. When the body is stressed, it can cause increased tension in your neck and back muscles, leading to discomfort or even pain.
- Walking helps you stay active, and keeping your spine moving encourages better circulation and nutrient delivery to vertebrae and discs, which are important for a healthy spinal structure.
- Going for a walk has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body which can help prevent degenerative changes in the spine, such as arthritis or disc disease. Walking also increases oxygen levels throughout the body, which will improve energy levels and help you feel more alert during everyday activities.
Specific walking techniques that can help maintain a healthy spine
A few walking techniques can help maintain a healthy spine to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your walk and help support spinal health further.
Keep your head up with eyes looking forward to when you walk
This will allow for good alignment throughout your back as you move. Additionally, try not to slouch or hunch, as this can put unnecessary strain on your back muscles and lead to pain or discomfort down the line.
Avoid leaning forward as you walk
Keep your torso upright with your chest forward and chin parallel to the ground when walking. Over-leaning can cause strain on the lower back and neck, so keeping your body in an optimal position is important.
Take small strides
To reduce stress on the spine, take smaller strides instead of long ones when you walk. This will help prevent overstretching of muscles around the back and allow for more fluid movement overall.
Keep your feet pointed forward
Pointing both feet directly forward while walking is the best way to distribute weight evenly and maintain a healthy gait. This will help reduce stress on the spine over time, which can play a big role in maintaining good spinal health.
Achieving optimal spinal health at Texas Neuro-Spine Surgery
Spine health is critical to a healthy lifestyle, so it should be taken seriously. And walking is one great way to help keep your spine in check, but if you’re having more severe issues, it may be time to turn to an expert in the field.
Dr. Chris Michael at Texas Neuro-Spine Surgery is highly experienced and skilled in spine-related issues and can work with you on the best plan for optimal movement, strength, flexibility, and overall health. Schedule a consultation with him today, and take advantage of this opportunity to reclaim control over your spine health!