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For Healing, Walk It Out

It’s likely no surprise that walking is good for your physical and mental health, but did you know that going for a walk can also help you heal? Harbin Clinic physical therapists are “prescribing outside” this summer and want patients to know that walking can be more than a form of exercise. Walking can aid different patients in their healing process.

Chronic Conditions:

The benefits of walking for patients with chronic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, are typically well-known: reducing blood pressure and blood sugar, getting more oxygen in the blood, etc. However, patients with other chronic conditions may also treat symptoms with this low-impact exercise. For example, patients with arthritis can gain flexibility, reduce joint stiffness, lower inflammation, strengthen muscles, etc. Similarly, patients struggling with osteoporosis can strengthen bones, reduce fracture risk and improve bone density by walking. Even patients suffering from plantar fasciitis can walk to build up different parts of their feet and improve circulation while stretching them out. If you are suffering from a chronic illness, consider talking to your doctor about how to incorporate walking into your care.

Patients Post Surgery:

Although it may seem counterintuitive, many patients who have undergone surgeries heal faster if they begin walking soon after a procedure. Harbin Clinic surgeons often partner with Harbin physical therapists to customize a care plan that gets patients back on their feet, increasing blood flow and mobility. If you are undergoing surgery or have recently undergone surgery, talk with your doctors about how best to incorporate walking into your healing process.

Sports Injuries:

There’s a reason coaches continue to tell their players to just “walk it off” after a rolled ankle or small injury. Walking can help injured athletes refamiliarize their bodies with weight-bearing exercises. In fact, research in recent years has suggested active recovery rather than icing is the best path to healing a sprain. But like other health concerns, talk with a healthcare provider first before starting any self-treatment.

Athletes Post-Workout:

Probably the most surprising healing benefit of walking is post-workout recovery. Known as active recovery, athletes can use a 30-minute walk to help relieve stiff muscles or increase blood flow. Although after a hard workout, you might feel like falling into bed or spending the day on the couch, walking will help you recover more quickly and possibly with less pain.

Want to know more about how to incorporate walking into your healing journey? Get in touch with Harbin Clinic Physical Therapy in Cartersville or Harbin Clinic Chiropractic and Physical Therapy in Rome.

Published June 23, 2023

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