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Is Walking Enough to Keep Me Healthy?

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

While speaking with some of my clients during their first Ittaika Method session, many of them share feeling surprised at having to deal with pain, injury, a fall (or multiple) or a recent joint surgery, followed by “I don’t know why this is happening. I walk every single day.”

Walking is great exercise but is not enough to keep our bodies in top shape. To enjoy a healthy body, science recommend that we engage in activities that cultivate endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. I would add joint mobility to this list (flexibility is not the same as joint mobility).

Our bodies are designed to move, and although walking helps to stimulate blood flow, benefiting the heart and lungs, easing some leg joints while toning some of our leg muscles, it does not cover all the needs of the body.

If in your daily life you engage in frequent movements that include lifting heavy objects, bending in different directions and at different levels, squatting, sustained reaching at different levels and directions, standing in positions that challenge your center of gravity or walking through uneven terrain, moving different joints in your body in every direction of their design, and safely elevating your heart rate for at least 15-20 minutes, then you don’t need to set structured time to exercise.

But many of us don’t live this lifestyle, our lives designed around sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time or engaging in repetitive movements that target only a few muscles and joints. For us, it is imperative to include structured time for exercise as part of our routine, exploring movements that help us keep our entire system healthy.

We don’t have to practice endurance, strength, balance, flexibility, and joint mobility all at the same time. We can stagger them throughout the week. I usually run twice a week (walking for a while to get ready), practice Ittaika Method 4 times a week, and rest one day a week. I enjoy this routine and it works for me.

If you are not exercising at all, I encourage you to start walking. If you are already walking, I invite you to include exercises that target endurance, strength, balance, flexibility, and joint mobility into your routine. These exercises should be enjoyable. And remember, always consult your doctor before you begin any new exercise program.

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