I recently wrote about some tips to get started running. This week I’m talking about walking, although walking is a significantly slower paced movement than running there are still precautions that need to be taken to avoid an injury whilst walking and to enjoy your walk in the most comfort possible.
1. Check that your shoes are properly fitted: You may take your shoes off at the end of a long walk and realise that the skin on points of friction on your feet are red, or that you have a callus build-up, this could potentially be from your shoes not fitting correctly. Correct fitting shoes will not only reduce friction points on your skin but also be more comfortable for you! It's also possible that your shoes may not be fitting correctly because your toenails are too long and may need cutting!
2. Wear the correct shoes (and socks) for the correct walking path: The type of trail you walk on may require different shoes to maximise your comfort during walking. For example, if you are walking along a creek trail that is regularly wet and muddy you may require trail walking shoes which are waterproof. Whereas if you are walking along a concrete footpath a good pair of runners will be sufficient. A good pair of socks will fit correctly (have no holes in them), have adequate padding, have no seams that can cause irritation, and provide protection and insulation for your feet, and will go a long way to increasing the comfort of your walk!
3. Set a goal and work towards it: Setting a goal to work towards can greatly increase your motivation when walking. If you have a regular walking path you enjoy then it may be a good idea to time how long it takes to complete the walk, then set a target time you want to beat walking the same path and work towards it. Make sure you gradually work towards beating your target time as trying to go too hard too fast may increase your risk of injury.
If you find you have discomfort when walking, would like further advice on appropriate footwear, or have any other walking or foot-related concerns book an appointment at Heidelberg Podiatry and we will get you on the road to comfortable walking!