Walking Your Way to Better Health

walking

You don’t need to rearrange your schedule or buy a gym membership to get fit. Walking is a free and easy way to boost your energy, improve your health, and combat diabetes.

Benefits of Walking

A simple 20 minute walk each day can provide major physical and mental benefits!

👟Stress reduction

👟Increased cognitive function

👟Mental clarity

👟Blood pressure stabilization

👟Decreased risk of heart disease & stroke

👟Improved cholesterol levels (↑ HDL ↓ LDL)

👟Joint health & bone alignment

How can walking help my diabetes?

Successful diabetes management is possible with strategic diet and proper exercise. Walking is a convenient form of exercise that is not metabolically demanding — meaning, no fear of hypoglycemia mid-workout. Walking lowers blood glucose levels and can optimize your body’s ability to use insulin. Furthermore, walking can help you slim down. Losing as little as 5% of your body weight can help boost insulin sensitivity and improve BG control.

Getting Started

Starting something new can feel daunting. But there are many effortless ways to incorporate walking into your daily routine.

Find Time

Add walking to your morning commute by getting off at an earlier bus or subway stop. Use your lunch break to get outside. Choose parking spots that are furtherer away. Take a quick stroll after dinner to aid digestion and add to your daily step count.

Bring a friend

walking

Research shows walking with others boosts the health benefits mentioned above. Plus group support will keep you accountable, therefore more likely to stick to your health and fitness goals. So, grab a friend or join walking group near you to chat and workout at the same time!

Pay Attention to Posture

Step 1. Gently relax your shoulders down.

TIP: Shrug your shoulders up and back, then let them fall back down.

Step 2. Lift your chest.

Step 3. Keep your gaze looking forward and avoid looking down.

Step 4. Allow your head to “float”.

TIP:  Imagine there is a balloon attached to the crown of your head that is lightly lifting it upwards.

Step 5. Engage your core.

TIP: Act as if someone is about to punch you in the stomach. Brace your stomach for impact in stead of sucking it in.

Have happy feet

The wrong shoes can decrease stability and cause discomfort, as a result you’ll miss out on future walks. There’s not need to break the bank. Rather, you can find reasonably priced sneakers that provide support, cushioning, and the proper fit. Just make sure you replace them every 300-400 miles.

walking

Go Pro

Once you’ve incorporated walking into your daily routine, kick it up a notch! Pick up the pace with interval training or conquer those hills. Keep your body guessing by walking quickly for a shorter distance one day, and slower for a longer distance the next. These small changes can safely increase metabolic output and increase the health benefits of walking.

Challenge yourself to reach 10,000 steps per day! Learn how in our One Drop Guide: 10,000 Steps to Lower Blood Glucose. Lace up those shoes and let’s get moving!

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Max Bergstein
Max Bergstein

Max Bergstein is the resident intern at One Drop. Hoping to make the East Coast to West Coast transition next year, Max is very interested in modern health care and diabetes management.