My last newsletter I talked about running in pain. I can hardly avoid writing about walking in pain, so here’s the scoop. It’s springtime and more people are out walking and enjoying the beautiful weather.
ARE YOU WALKING IN PAIN?
Walking can be fun aswell as competitive. There seems to be many 5K’s and lots of hiking withgroups, organizations, and friends.
Walking is inexpensive, healthy, builds stronger bones, helps improve your immune system and lowers blood sugar if done slowly after a meal. In a study done byHarvard Medical School, it’s mentioned walking is great for having an impact onvarious diseases and conditions.
Lowering cholesterol, diabetes’, cancer, lowering blood pressure and keeping you mentally sharp. Walking 21 minutes per day can lower your chances for heart disease. That’s less time than cooking dinner. I have worked with clients who used walking as a tool for health improvements, weight loss,reduction in depression and a multitude of many other improvements. Walking on various terrains, will improve your balance and coordination while improving health and fat loss. If you choose new terrains beyond sidewalks and flat trails, take your time, and learn to move on various degrees of challenging paths, trails, and roads. Your balance and coordination will begin to improve also. Not to mention being in the beautiful outdoors, breathing clean air and enjoying all the presents mother nature has given us.
It’s cheap, easy to do, and something you can do anywhere you go. What if you are someone who gets pain from walking? It happens when the joints are misaligned, and muscles are out of balance. In other words, poor posture. Postural Therapy can be a huge asset and provide you with superior function. By improving posture, you will avoid things like sciatica, knee pain, hip pain, low back pain and neck and shoulder pain. All while you are improving your health, loss of body fat, increasing endurance and improving mental clarity.
My clients like me to give them pre runners stretch and pre walking stretch. This has proven to be very effective, and they are able to avoid injury. Many will choose to stretch before and after, because they like how it feels and it assists them in becoming more proficient at their sport. Yes, walking is a sport, check out the contests. Many clients ask if they should stretch before of after walking. I always suggest both. If you are using postural therapy and have PTX Therapy app, it will provide you with a shorter program that can be used for pre walking.
One of my clients who used to be a Triathlete found pounding the pavement was too much for her knee and opted to discontinue competing in triathlons. Today, she has lost over 40 pounds from hiking. She uses postural therapy before or immediately after walking and hiking. By the time I have written this article, she has probably lost additional pounds and increased her distance in walking. Equipment is inexpensive, however very important. What I am referring to is your shoes.
Before discussing shoes let’s take a quick look at yours. If you have a pair of tennis shoes that you intend to wear for walking, may I suggest; Get your shoes and hold them up with the backs facing you. Notice the soles of your heels. Are they the same on both sides? Is one shoe worn more on the outside of the heel, where the other shoe is different. If the heels of your shoes are worn down and different on both sides, it’s time for a new pair.
Beginning distance whether walking or running, it’s best not to begin on a worn shoe. This will lock in the compensations and create additional dysfunctions. Shoes are very personal, and you must find the one that works best for you. I recommend a minimus shoe. If you are currently wearing thick tennis shoes and wish to try a minimus, start slowly, and give your body a chance to realign with the new approach. Try wearing for an hour at first and build up to more time. Some clients will start with a flatter shoe, but not minimus. This gives your body time to acclimate to the difference. After you are used to a lower shoe, then you can try a flat shoe such as minimus.
Why not a thick comfortable shoe? It stops your foot muscles from working. It’s as if they arein a cast. Those muscles need to work, and they have a large impact on everything above them. Ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders, and neck. Another way of reminding your feet is to walk around your home barefoot. It may seem strange at first, but as you progress, you will notice your feet feel better and stronger. Give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.
For additional information on correcting your posture which leads to becoming pain free, you can contact me through my website. Schedule a free consultation. You can come in person, or we can work on Zoom. Both very effective. You can contact me through this link.
Go out and enjoy the beautiful weather and get healthy and fit.