Long Walks and Fresh Air are a Good Way to Relax
Now more than ever, we can all use a break from the stressors and changes that COVID and the quarantine have brought. What has been your favorite way to relax recently? If you’re a bookworm, then spending the evening curled up with a good book is probably a go-to choice for winding down.
At our physical therapy offices in Ithaca and Freeville, we like to remind our clients that getting some fresh air can also be an amazing way to relax. That’s why we’re covering the awesome benefits of taking long walks this summer.
Movement and Stress Reduction
Stress isn’t just a mental issue. For many of our clients, stress causes them to tense their muscles. Walking is one of the easiest pain management exercises we can use to alleviate the tension. When we walk with correct posture, we can un-knot the muscles, relieve tension and pain.
Reconnect with our Body
When we’re working from home, our minds are always buzzing. We have to juggle career, family, and homemaking responsibilities all at once. All of these stressors can keep us trapped in our minds and constantly ruminating on our thoughts.
Something as quick as a 15-minute walk through your favorite place in Freeville can get us out of our heads. We get a chance to take in all the beauty the summer has to offer. The sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors allows us to remember what’s important. Our thoughts will always be here, but we all deserve to have a moment each day to reconnect with our bodies, too. We can practice breathing deeply and perfect our walking technique.
Walking Technique Tips
· Stand tall and keep your chin parallel to the ground.
· Your eyes should be focused on objects around 10 to 15 feet in front of you.
· Your spine should be long. Slouching can overstress the muscles in your back and cause discomfort
· Keep your shoulders relaxed and down, so you don’t strain your neck or upper back.
· Focus on engaging your core while you walk to keep your balance
· Gently swing your arms from your shoulders, back and forth.
· Your feet should be in comfortable shoes with great support.
· Always strike the ground with your heel first and then roll through to your toes.
Ready to go for a walk?
Walking properly is a full-body activity. Before you strap on your shoes and go for a stroll, it’s important to do some planning. The heat in the summer months can rise to sweltering temperatures, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy the outdoors.
Schedule walks around the neighborhood during the cooler parts of the day, like early in the morning or at dusk, so you lessen the chances of getting overheated. A few light full body stretches will keep you limber throughout your walk. Don’t forget to carry a bottle of water for extra hydration. If you’d like more tips on staying active or you’re looking for pain relief in Ithaca, Freeville, and Dryden, we’re always here to help. Just give Finger Lakes Physical Therapy a call.