The Health Benefits of Walking and How It Can Help Back Pain.

 

 

 

The Health Benefits of Walking

 

Walking
It might seem obvious that walking has got to be good for your health. There are many different health benefits of walking, and it goes way beyond just another way to help back pain.

Did you know that walking is our most natural movement, and we all do it every day. Or at least we should!

The human body has evolved over 200,000 years to be a walking machine. It is estimated that we should walk around 10 kilometres (6 miles) every day! And not that long ago this was the normal, with the majority of people regularly having to walk to work or school and back each day.

But as life has gotten ‘easier’ with modern technology, you could theoretically never actually leave your house. Even if you did, you would probably only walk as far as the garage to get into your car. I would guess that many people reading this would probably walk less than 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) per day.

This is becoming a reality for more and more people. We are less active now than ever in the history of mankind! And our health is suffering considerably because of it. You just need to have a look at the increasing rates of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

In fact, currently you are most likely to die from one of these chronic diseases than anything else, with an estimated 80{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of the population expected to develop a preventable chronic illness. These diseases are all preventable by the way, and walking is the easiest and cheapest way to decrease your risk of developing chronic disease.

How exciting is it to know that you can actually prevent your own death! Okay, maybe not. But it is great to know that you can greatly decrease your risk of developing heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even cancer by simply going for a walk. Not to mention that that you will also be actually improving your general health and well-being.

 

So What Exactly Are The Health Benefits of Walking?

 

There is a stack of research on the health benefits of walking.

The following list is taken from a paper published in the Journal Of Applied Physiology. (Booth et al. Waging war on physical inactivity:using modern molecular ammunition against an ancient enemy. J Appli Physiol 93: 3-30, 2002)

These are the just some of the documented health benefits of walking from that article. Most of these benefits are based on just 30 minutes of brisk walking, and the research shows that it is dose dependent, which means that the more you get, the better the results!

 

Okay, so here are SOME of the benefits of walking for just 30 minutes a day.

 

Prevent 91{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of cases of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
Prevent 50{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} cases of all heart disease.
Reduce stroke risk by 25-30{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}.
Reduce risk of breast cancer by up to 60{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}.
Restore and maintain cholesterol levels.
Reduce lung cancer, even in smokers, by 72{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}.
Reduce melanoma by 72{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}.
Normalize blood pressure.
Prevent up to 50{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of ALL cases of heart disease.
Reduce risk of breast cancer by up to 60{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}.
Prevent 50{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} bowel cancer.
Improve digestion and bowel function.
Increase immune response.
Decrease depression by 20{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999}, including relapses.
Decrease all cause mortality by 67{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} in general population.
Increases sex binding hormones, which slow aging.
Prevent up to 47{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of cognitive impairment.
Prevent up to 62{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of Alzheimer’s and 52{95f364b8aea3ba4afb976a81c1dcc2e8147daac1866ef443968911255633a999} of dementia.
Increase immune system function.
Decrease rate of aging.
Reduced risk of developing, and improving outcomes of those with, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Prevent osteoporosis and increase new bone formation.
Increase strength, flexibility and balance.
Improve physical function in older adults.

 

I am not making this stuff up, these are actual documented facts. Think about it, it is absolutely amazing that these incredible health benefits are available to almost everybody, right now, and they are TOTALLY FREE.

There is nothing else out there like this! What drug or surgery could ever come close to competing with these documented health benefits, and not to mention that there are no side effects whatsoever! Without a doubt, the simplest, cheapest and best thing that you can do for your health is simply walking.

 

I just want to point out the last few points again, since we are particularly interested in back pain.

 

Reduced risk of developing, and improving outcomes of those with, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Prevent osteoporosis and increase new bone formation.
Increase strength, flexibility and balance.
Improve physical function in older adults.

 

By getting out for a walk, you are going to make a big difference to your level of back pain. And not just now, but for the future as well.
It improves the functioning of our bodies. Simple as that. And the more you do, the better off you will be!

 

There is one key point I would like you to keep in mind.

 

 

WALKING IS OUR MOST NATURAL MOVEMENT.

 

 

 

Walking the DogIt might seem rather obvious, but just think about it for a moment. What other movement do we as human beings do that is more natural. Putting food in our mouths maybe, but it is definitely not typing away at your keyboard!!

 

If you have read my article on what really causes back pain (if not, you can check it out here) you will know that the underlying cause of the vast majority of back pain is unnatural movement patterns putting strain on the spinal tissues. So it makes sense that walking is going to help restore normal movement patterns, as well as increasing strength, flexibility and balance as we just learned. This will inevitably lead to less back pain!

 

One of the great benefits of walking is that our whole body moves when we walk, and it is very gentle exercise. You can go for a nice easy stroll, or you could ramp it up and make it a workout.

 

I hope that this is enough to motivate you to get out there and go for a walk. You can literally walk your way to a better, longer life! And don’t forget to take your family, children and co-workers!

 

If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great post. My mom has always stressed how important walking is and how it is the best exercise possible 🙂
    During pregnancy I got terrible back pain and started walking regularly which helped.

    • Hi Lynne,

      Sorry to hear you had some trouble during your prenancy.

      Unfortunately it is quite common, there is a lot of extra stress on the spine during the pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. Pretty good reward at the end of it though, don’t you think!

      All the best,

      Dr Brad

  2. I knew that walking is a great way to get exercise, but did not realize how really beneficial it can be! You have made some good points here! You have motivated me to do more walking!

    Marant

    • Hi Marant,

      I love sharing this information with as many people as possible. Everyone is totally blown away at how many health benefits are available to them this easily and completely for free. Just by going for a simple walk!

      This stuff really should be taught at schools and in hospitals! Imagine the improvement in peoples quality of life if we were to implement this on a national scale. Not to mention the financial savings!

      Have an amazing day!

      Dr Brad

  3. Hey Bradley,

    Funny enough I just came back from my morning walk with my dog and found your post. In my neighborhood we live at the top of the hill so it’s a nice gentle walk down and a pretty good workout going up.

    It must be I’m sweating pretty good by the time we get home and the dog is huffing and puffing as well.

    I use to have a very sore back almost every morning when I woke up. I know a lot of this had to do with me being a powerlifter for many years – not the best sport for the old body.

    And the only walking I ever did was from the house to the car to the gym and back again.

    For the last year and a half – now that I don’t have to bench press a buick anymore, I’ve been doing a lot of walking and I love it.

    With the combination of other exercise I have gone from 392 pounds down to 280 – in fact this is the lightest I’ve been in 10 years.

    What I like about my walks is that I can just zone out and enjoy the scenery – I just relax, and it’s the best start to my day.

    Great post, and I had no idea that walking could do so much for me.

    Cheers
    Leo

    • Hi Leo,

      Congrats on the weightloss! That’s going to be a whole lot less stress and strain on your body. In particular all of your joints will be having to carry less weight, which makes a huge difference!

      Walking your dog is a great way to get in some exercise. We love to take our dog to the local beach, he absolutely goes mad running around, it is so much fun!

      I like to do a variety of activities, from walking, surfing, cycling, gym, yoga, paddle-boarding, etc to keep things interesting.

      But by far the easiest and most accesible exercises is walking.
      I highly recommend it! (obviously)

      Have an amazing day!
      Dr Brad

    • HI Jamie,

      Any exercise is better than no exercise!

      If you are specifically looking for an exercise program to get back pain relief, then you need look no further than my online course!

      Seriously, it really is worth checking out. The program represents excellent value because you are getting everything you need to fix your own back pain, right at home! There is no other program like Treat Back Pain Naturally online.

      All the best,

      Dr Brad

  4. I like what you said about how walking was the most natural way of moving, evolution-wise, for our bodies. My mom has lower back pain and needs to do more things to help, but she isn’t sure walking will help. Thanks for the information about how natural walking is and how it can strengthen muscles back there and help her move around more.

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