As I kick off the first month of my business on Capitol Hill in July, I want to celebrate with you by walking. If you've been following along with me on Facebook you will recall I just attended a Restorative Exercise training in May. One of the services I will be offering in my practice are Restorative Exercise private sessions. A major component to Restorative Exercise is teaching people the benefits of whole body, symmetrical movement, aka walking.
Our daily lives have become exceedingly inactive. We drive to work, sit while at work for hours on end, drive home, eat dinner sitting, and then usually sit on our couch to unwind before we sleep. Even if you drive to the gym before work and get your 1 hour of exercise in that leaves you with the vast majority of your day in stillness. We are just not designed to be still that often. When you stay in one position for too long (in this case let's say sitting) your body adapts to joint positions by shortening the muscles. A short, tight muscle cannot generate optimal force, is low on circulation of both blood and lymph, and you lose innervation (a fancy way of saying you lose a little bit more of the ability to communicate with that part of your body via the nervous system). When we walk we use our bodies in a symmetrical, whole body engaged way. Walking has the ability to move us with the most musclular involvement. I work with people through Restorative Exercise to help realign their bodies, so that their muscles have restored lengths that are able to generate force and get them moving. Some other benefits of walking to name just a few:
When walking in better alignment you boost your metabolism
The largest amount of lymph tissues are located at the groin, which means walking helps you remove waste in a big way.
Walking is soothing to the nervous system, relieving stress
Walking improves digestion
Walking in better alignment will strengthen your posterior musculature, i.e. build a butt!
Walking is whole body movement, meaning you are actively delivering oxygen to the maximum number of cells. Oxygen is cell food, so this is nourishment from the very first most basic and crucial level!
I decided to open my practice on Capitol Hill not only because of the amazing group of healers I have found to work with, but because it is less than 3 miles from my home. I plan on walking to and from my office. That is a total of 5.6 miles. Our ancestors walked on average 5-7 miles each day. This is the way we evolved, our bodies expect it! Not every day would be a long walking day, they would be varied. Some days only a mile or two, some days longer 10-12 miles. I plan on varying my walks throughout the month of July and aiming for an average of 5 miles per day. If you are currently not walking at all or very minimal, I suggest you start small. Try .5 a mile one day, then slowly increase to 1 mile. Pace yourself, just be consistent and keep working at it. I have been scheduling a morning walk for myself before the rest of the family wakes up to ensure that no matter what happens that day I get at least some walking in each day. So what do you say? Will you join me? Will you make July 2015 the month you started moving more and in a way that supports human health optimally? I think if you take on this challenge you may find it becomes the best part of your whole day and you won't want to stop!