Tuesday, October 24, 2017
   
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You may be continuing your regimen or starting a new one. Whether you walk indoor or outdoors, there are several things to consider.

Having the proper shoe and surface will help decrease the chances of any injuries.  Here are some tips to remind you of how to keep your feet happy.

Before walking, you should ensure that your shoes fit comfortably.  Select shoes with a strong supportive heel and arch. This can be a walking shoe or a running shoe.  Have your feet measured before buying new shoes to ensure a proper fit. Always try the shoe on in the store with the socks you plan to wear for walking.  If you have a pair of orthotics/arch supports, take them along as well. Make sure that the space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe is a thumbnail width.  Remember that shoe sizes can vary from model and brand.   It is a good idea to replace your shoes every 500 miles.

While you are walking, wear socks which will help to wick away moisture, such as a poly/cotton blend.  Start your program gradually and slowly increase the intensity. It is best to consult medical advice before starting a new program.  Try to walk on surfaces that will help to absorb the shock such as a track or trail. A concrete surface may increase the stress to your feet and joints.  If you do experience any discomfort, follow the RICE principal- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, and follow up with the proper medical treatment.

You want to make sure you stretch your legs properly, both before and after walking. This includes the hamstring, calves and Achilles tendon.  This will help prevent any injuries, such as plantar fasciitis/heel pain, tendonitis, and shin splints. Additionally, you want to remove your moist socks and shoes as soon as possible and allow them to dry. This will help prevent bacteria and fungus from building up

Lastly, have fun, enjoy and remember to go at your own pace.