Improving the mobility of your body, doesn’t only help maintain your quality of life, studies now show that it also increases longevity. We all know that walking is good for us, but in order for it to be most effective you also must enjoy it, both mentally and physically.
”A decline in walking ability is a major predictor of health problems.” -reported HealthDay.
To help you get back to an active lifestyle we’ve listed below several small changes you can make in your daily routine to help you increase your life expectancy. Not only will they make you feel better, but adding them to your everyday will strengthen your heart and speed up your metabolism. A sedentary lifestyle, whether work induced or self-imposed, due to painful or uncomfortable feet, has a high metabolic cost. Here are four ideas to lower your metabolic cost today!
1. Be sure not to sit for more than an hour straight. At some point during each hour of work get up and walk for as little as five minutes. In a recent study the University of Indiana found, “it only takes one hour of sitting to cut off blood flow in major leg arteries by up to 50%. This damages your feet, legs and prevents proper circulation to your heart.” Now, are you ready for the exciting part? “The team found that subjects who took a five-minute walk once an hour did not cut off circulation. They want to be clear, they do not mean the subject had less restriction…They didn’t have any restriction of their arteries. The subjects walking pace was just 2 mph., you don’t even have to break a sweat to benefit.” –Washington Post. Now be sure to have comfortable shoes that make walking easy enough to want to do every hour, and the benefit of increased blood circulation will help lower your metabolic cost with this one simple step. Compression socks can also be added to help improve blood flow through your feet and legs.
2. Wear shoes that make walking fun and painless. Be sure to support the feet not only when they’re hitting the pavement, but also when they are hitting the beach in sandals or hard wood floors at home. Most people know to select running and walking shoes that support the arch of the foot. This encourages improved weight distribution in the footwear and helps to absorb impact. It is not as obvious when it comes to selecting sandals, even though people walk many miles in their sandals during the summer. Even dress shoes can be made more comfortable with custom inserts or off-the-shelf arch supports. At Foot Solutions our highly trained and certified staff uses the most advanced state-of-the-art technology to perform a foot and gait analysis, as well as 3-D measurements of the foot. If your feet feel good, you will walk more and lower your metabolic cost.
3. When walking be sure to maintain a good posture – this will encourage your body to pull strength from your core. To do this, lift the body from your centre and focus in front of you when walking, instead of down at your feet. A more upright posture makes walking easier on your body, in preventing compression of the lungs and reducing stress on the back and feet, due to improved biomechanics. This will help you feel lighter on your feet, and lighter means lower metabolic cost. For an added benefit, include Nordic Walking poles in your routine to help improve posture, walking gait and strength.
4. Love to move your body. Attitude is one of the few things we can control. To improve the benefits of your workout or walking routine, take charge of your thoughts about walking. If the mind thinks it is doing something pleasurable, and the body is pain-free and able to enjoy the walk, the metabolic cost will be low. Walk outdoors and engage your senses, look at the scenery, listen to the birds and don’t forget to smell the roses. “Many of our expectations about the inevitability of physical decline with advancing years may be INCORRECT and that how we age is, to a large degree, up to us.” –The New York Times 1/7/2015
Have any other simple tips to lower your metabolic cost? Comment below.