WeWard and World Health Day: a winning combination!

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Every year on April 7th, people everywhere celebrate World Health Day: the WHO's birthday. And in 2023, the organization will be celebrating with 75 candles! It's a beautiful anniversary that we wanted to mark to present the benefits of walking on physical and mental health.

Wardy had the pleasure of chatting with Alexandre, a massage therapist, physiologist and health content creator on the @pamz_thérapy page.

Wardy: Hello Alexandre, can you introduce yourself to all our WeWarders?

Alexandre: Hi Wardy, I'm Alexandre, a massage therapist and creator of the @pamz_therapy page on Instagram and YouTube, where I share information about the human body so people can have a healthy body themselves.  

Wardy: Does walking have a real impact on health and the body? If so, what are the main health benefits of walking?

Alexandre: Walking always has several interesting health aspects. First of all, the most well-known is muscular reinforcement. The fact that you carry your weight on one leg, because even though it doesn't seem like it but we are on one leg 80% of the time when we walk, allows you to strengthen your muscular system at the level of the legs and the abdominal area. So the whole body will be stimulated during a walk. The other point is joint mobility since the knees, hips, ankles, lumbar vertebrae and almost all the joints of the body move during a walk. There is also the improvement to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems since the prolonged effort of walking will act directly on the heart and breathing. It's also been proven that walking allows the secretion of endorphins that will help to better manage stress. This reduction in stress can have an effect on the quality of sleep and on mood.

Wardy: How do you advise walking to the public as a physical therapist and physiotherapist?

Alexandre: As a physiotherapist, my advice for walking is to first pay attention to the way you walk. For a good walk, you have to develop your step well. It's essential to start the step on the heel and finish it on the tip of the foot. Then you have to think about engaging your abdominal muscles. Sometimes, we have a tendency to dig the bottom of the back whereas it is necessary on the contrary to think of drawing in the bottom of the belly and keeping the pelvis stable so as not to have any disconnect between the left side and the right side.

Wardy: At what pace and how often should you walk to feel better in your body?

Alexandre: Everyone has in mind the famous 10,000 steps per day recommended by the WHO. My advice is to be regular because regularity is an important factor in physical activity. You also need to make an effort to keep up with your steps once to three times a week: what you need to do is take 6,000 to 7,000 steps in one go, and not spread them out over the day. It is important for the heart and lungs to have these 6,000 to 7,000 steps continuously to work the cardiac and pulmonary systems.

Wardy: Any final thoughts to end things?

Alexandre: I'll give two small tips: the first is to try walking briskly! While maintaining a good walk and taking a good step, try to increase your pace from time to time. All the beneficial effects of walking will be increased and it's interesting for the muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems, and for mobility. The second tip is to engage the use of your arms! Don't hesitate to accompany your walking movement with your arms, while being relaxed to allow you to mobilize your shoulders, your back, and cervical vertebrae. I hope you have enjoyed my advice, see you soon!

Thank you to Alexandre for this interview! Go to the application to keep your body healthy and to support the associative projects related to health highlighted in the gifts page.

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