Today is National Dog Day (26 August)! As a team of dog lovers, this a is perfect excuse not only to share some images of our favourite pooches, but it’s also a great opportunity to highlight the benefits of getting out walking – something you have to do, come and rain or shine, when you have a dog in the family!

When you walk, more than 200 individual muscles spring into action which includes all of the muscles in your spine and pelvic area. In our latest blog, Debbie, our practice MD and regular dog walker, shares with us the top five good reasons for chiropractic patients to get moving:

1-   PREVENTS AND RELIEVES BACK PAIN

Walking may help to relieve your back pain. It is a low impact exercise and very gentle on the back, burning around 265 calories in 30 minutes. It keeps you mobile and gently moving those joints and muscles. Chiropractors would usually advise that a patient does not just take to their bed if they are suffering from back pain. Gentle movement is what’s prescribed in modern day.

You should however avoid walking on uneven terrain or concrete to keep it low impact and avoid injury. Exercise also releases pain relieving endorphins in addition to aiding in other conditions that can help with pain management.

2 INCREASES CIRCULATION

Walking increases circulation throughout your body, including your spine. This ensures that you have a continual flow of blood to the muscles and nutrients to the spine. Soft tissues are nourished and enriched while harmful toxins are drained away.

Increased circulation in turn, lowers blood pressure. This helps bring the body into balance and increases your stamina. As blood is moved through your body it nourishes all of your muscles, making you stronger and making it easier for you to exercise. Basically, the more you walk, the more you are able to walk.

3 – IMPROVES FLEXIBILITY AND MOBILITY

As walking increases circulation, flexibility and mobility are enhanced. When combined with a regimen of light stretching, walking can increase flexibility and a better range of motion. This has the added benefits of reducing the risk of injury and improving posture.

Chiropractors recommend a series of gentle stretches combined with cardio, including walking, to help with back pain management and good spinal health. It is a very good accompaniment to chiropractic care and is an effective supporting activity which will help your treatment work even better.

4- AIDS WITH WEIGHT LOSS AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

Extra body weight can cause significant stress on the spine. Abdominal fat can create excess weight in the front, causing a swayback effect in the spine. This puts pressure on the lower back, resulting in pain in that area.

The spine is part of the body’s core and the muscles that surround the spine aid in balance and movement. When excess weight is present those muscles become strained as they must work harder to maintain balance. Walking helps with weight management and weight loss eliminating or reducing the effects of excessive weight.

As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of walking as it benefits the whole body. It reduces your risk of heart disease, improves blood sugar and blood pressure, reduces your risk of osteoporosis, helps you maintain body weight, improves your mental health, and can even reduce your risk of certain cancers. With your spine at the core of your body, good spinal health plays a part in every one of these conditions. By combining walking with chiropractic care, you are giving your body its best chance at good health and optimal function.

5- IMPROVES YOUR MOOD

Walking in nature has been proven to improve mood and positively affect mental wellbeing. Good mental health also aids in the management of pain. Walking with your beloved pet has an added benefit as you enjoy their company and antics. There are some beautiful parks and areas close to Leeds in which to enjoy beautiful, relaxing walks. Some of my favourites are Otley Chevin, Meanwood Valley Trail and the north side of Golden Acre Park. Simon and I can be found daily in these places with our crazy but lovable dog, Cooper!

Look forward to seeing you there!

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