Has your new description lately been the “Couch Ninja”? Have you and your loved ones been cheering more often from the sidelines rather than getting out there and taking part?
If you have answered yes to either one of those questions, we know your next thought will be that “I would love to, but it hurts, or I am too old. We say nonsense! It is not the time to hang up walking shoes, but to grab your workout gear from whatever era you last worked out.
Benefits of Real Life Walking
With our lifestyles of work and career becoming more sedentary and virtual our health is suffering as a whole at every age level; therefore exercise is imperative.
Let’s Weigh the Benefits
- Improves cardiovascular endurance
- Tones muscles of the lower body
- Burns calories: about 80 if walking 2 miles per hour, and about 107 if walking 4.5 miles per hour
- Reduces risk of heart disease
Now The Sole Support
The first item of business when beginning your walking program is to select the right pair of shoes. Too many people choose fashion over function when purchasing running shoes, not realizing that poor-fitting shoes can do more than hurt their stride, but also lead to pain throughout the body.
When choosing, shoes make sure the shoes you purchase fit correctly. For a proper fit ensure that the balls of your feet rest precisely at the point where the toe end of the shoe bends with each step. Your walking shoes should also have plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact.
It is best to shop for your new athletic trainers at the end of the day or after a workout when your feet are generally at their largest. Try to wear the type of socks you usually would wear during exercise and be sure to take a lap and wear them for at least 10 minutes at the store.
Remember to replace between every 300 and 500 miles.
We Are Off and Walking!
Walking just 12 minutes every other day can offer significant health benefits. But to increase your longevity, try to eventually work up to 30 minutes, five days per week. Experts agree that to be considered “active,” adults should try to take 10,000 steps each day. Wearing a “Fitbit” is an easy way to track your progress.
Guide To Proper Form
1. Move your arms freely, in coordination with the opposite leg.
2. Don’t stoop your head or look down as you walk. Bending your head to look at the ground will challenge the normal forward curve of your neck, which, in turn, will cause you to carry your weight improperly.
3. Don’t carry weights or dumbbells while walking. The weights should be used as a separate part of your exercise regimen.
4. Walk briskly, with “purpose.” Simply sauntering, Although the relaxed stroll is enjoyable, it is not an effective form of cardiovascular exercise.
5. Of course, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Caution Ahead: Surface May Not Be Ideal
To maximize the benefit and reduce the chance of injuries, follow these surface choice tips:
1. Walk on a cushioned or rubberized track. The rubberized track surface is ideal because the cushioning of this type of track absorbs most of the impact of your walking.
2. The grass is another good surface, but watch out for hidden dips or holes.
3. Walking on a surface with no give, such as concrete or a mall floor, is not your best choice because this type of surface will not absorb much of the impact your body will experience. If you do choose to walk on such a surface, be extra careful to select highly cushioned shoes.
Step in Balance
We want to help keep you moving in perfect balance to maximize the benefit and help to avoid low back, hip, or knee pain. So as you lace up and head for the open road make sure to call and get a check up for top performance.
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam