Accessibility View Close toolbar

Walking as a Lifestyle Choice

Everyone knows he or she “should” be doing regular exercise, but most people have not exercised in so many years that they don’t know where to begin. As a result, people start and stop various training programs and routines. They join gyms, buy workout clothes, spend hard-earned income, and ultimately fail to follow-through because they don’t have a clear idea of how to exercise effectively.

One of the issues relates to the many choices available. You can lift weights, swim, ride a bicycle, run, take Pilates classes, take yoga classes, or play tennis. But the challenge lies in selecting the form of exercise that’s best for you, and then having the specific knowledge to begin training in a way that will be beneficial and not harmful.

It’s actually easy to hurt yourself if you’re returning to exercise after an absence of many years or, for some people, of decades. Doing too much too soon is a typical cause of an exercise-related injury. Doing the wrong type of exercise for your level of preparation is another major cause of these injuries. Getting hurt doing exercise is a real deal-breaker for people who didn’t really want to exercise in the first place. If you haven’t exercised in years, finally work up the motivation to start doing something, and hurt yourself after a few days or weeks of your new program, quitting and never going back becomes a very attractive option.

But exercise is a key factor in maintaining overall health and wellness. If you’re committed to the long-term health and well-being of yourself and your family, regular vigorous exercise is critical. The solution, at least in the initial phases of returning to fitness, is walking for exercise. Walking avoids the vast majority of pitfalls associated with other types of exercise. Walking is low-impact, requires minimal equipment, and no gym memberships are needed. Walking is done outside in fresh air and sunshine, providing many additional benefits beyond those gained by exercise as such.

Walking is excellent exercise,1 and yet it’s important to follow some basic guidelines. Starting slowly is the main consideration. If you haven’t done any vigorous physical activity for months or years, 10 minutes of walking at a modest pace should be sufficient for your first day of walking. Five minutes out and five minutes back. Make 10 minutes your limit even if that amount feels like too little. It’s always better to do a little less exercise than a little too much. Add approximately a minute a day, until you’re doing a 30-minute walk at a modest pace. With this quantity of comfortable walking, you can now begin to increase your pace. Ultimately, 30 minutes of walking at a brisk pace will provide sufficient health benefits for most people, based on the principle of five or six vigorous exercise sessions per week.

The long-term results of such a program are profound.2,3 Consistent vigorous exercise helps to lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, reduce the incidence of stroke, reduce the incidence of diabetes and obesity, and improve outcomes in patients with cancer. Walking for exercise is an efficient, enjoyable, and easy way to enable you and your family to begin obtaining these long-term health benefits.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital signs: walking among adults - United States, 2005 and 2010. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep 61:595-601, 2012
2Lima LG, et al: Effect of a single session of aerobic walking exercise on arterial pressure in community-living elderly individuals. Hypertens Res 35(4):457-462, 2012
3Subramanian H, et al: Non-pharmacological Interventions in Hypertension: A Community-based Cross-over Randomized Controlled Trial. Indian J Community Med 36(3):191-196, 2011

Multicare Health Clinic

3930 STADIUM DR
SIOUX CITY, IA 51106
Phone Number: (712) 276-4325

Get Directions

Location

Email Us

Office Hours

Monday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "After an accident at work I didn't think I'd ever get relief from my aching shoulder. But, the doctors at Multicare gave me adjustments and physical therapy and now I feel normal again."
    Cliff C.
  • "After my consultatin with the doctors at Multicare Health Clinic, I understand how to address my balance issues."
    Anna A.
  • "After my knee surgery I was asked where I wanted to do my physical therapy, I chose Multicare Health Clinic and I'm so glad I did! Dr. Steve and the therapy assistants (Sara and Megan) are fabulous! They know what they're doing and they all really seemed to care about my recovery. I'm feeling fantastic! I'll definitely go back again whenever I need therapy or adjustments."
    Sheri J.
  • "At night my right hand would go painfully numb at least 2-3 times where I could not sleep. Now, I don't have that pain and can get a full night sleep."
    Janet D.
  • "I leave here feeling confident that I have the resources to manage my pain and live normally, and that's priceless."
    Alycen V.
  • "There couldn't be a better physical therapy team in Siouxland! Not only did my knee feel so much better after six weeks, but I feel like I made new friends."
    Karla K.
  • "My shoulder and neck feel so much better. I now have the knowledge, motivation, desire and tools to keep up the exercises."
    Barb B.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Henry H.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Ivy I.
  • "Not only is my pain level down to zero, but what I'm really thrilled with, is that I have normal feeling in my hands."
    Jill L.
  • "I now can go a full week without pain and headaches."
    Luke W.
  • "I'm now a believer now! I didn't think chiropractic could help my foot problems. But after meeting with Dr. Pistello and Dr. Dave for a few weeks, I'm feeling so much better!"
    Gino G.
  • "I'm so glad my sister referred me to Multicare! My elbow hasn't felt this good in a long time. Thanks to the great physical therapy team there."
    Ellen E.
  • "My company encouraged all of us employees to get screened at Multicare. I didn't know what to expect. It was easy and I learned so much. The orthotics they prescribed really help me to feel more stable and confident at work."
    Jim J.
  • "Being able to present my back pain to three different professions in one place and knowing that they are working together to make me better is very comforting."
    Charlie P.
  • "Dr. Sneller helped. I haven't been feeling dizzy anymore."
    Belinda B
  • "I'm a runner. When I wasn't able to run due to leg problems, I was devastated. But a consultation at Multicare Health Clinic identified the problem and after some adjustments, stimulation treatments and therapy, I'm running again!"
    Lisa L.