Every October is International Walk to School Month – an opportunity for children to join hundreds of thousands of pupils across the globe celebrating the walk to school.

A generation ago more than 70% of primary-aged children walked to school. Today that rate is less than 46%. Living Streets, the charity behind the scheme, aims to turn that trend around.
Here are some great tips to help everyone get the most out of walking for their back health.

1) Keep warm
The morning can be chilly and even frosty this time of year. Wearing extra layers especially around your neck will help to keep the muscles relaxed. If you get cold these muscles will shiver and can cause tension in the muscles which could lead to pain or headaches.

2) Buy the right footwear
Make sure your shoes offer support and flexibility and fit well. Walking so your heel strikes the floor first and then pushing off your toes allows your foot to act as a shock absorber and helps to push you forwards

3) Walk don’t run
Walking is less strenuous on the joints than other forms of exercise and is weight bearing which therefore helps to maintain bone density.

4) Top up your daily routine
Adding just a few minutes walking to your daily routine could be of benefit. For example, walk to the shops instead of driving, try walking a little faster to boost the exercise benefit and take the stairs instead the lift.

5) Backpack
If you or your child is carrying a bag whilst walking ensure that it fits well and the load is distributed evenly. The straps should allow movement but hold the bag onto the mid back.

6) Keep hydrated
As you walk, it’s important that you top up your fluids as the body works better when well hydrated. Your muscles and joints will work more efficiently and for longer.

7) Invest in walking poles
For longer walks, walking poles help you to maintain an upright position and also keep your arms moving, increasing the health benefits and helping to maintain a good posture

Speak to one of our clinicians if you have any questions, or want to know more about the benefits of walking.