Walking is one of the most basic forms of exercise, and you an do it from almost anywhere without any fancy equipment. Because of this, many individuals say that walking is their preferred form of exercise. However, as you get older you need to be a little more conscious about how you approach your walking routine. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some common walking mistakes you’ll want to avoid as you get older.
Keep On Walking
Strive for 30-45 minutes of brisk walking each and every day to help keep your feet, ankles and whole body healthy. Just be smart about how you approach your walking routine as you get closer to retirement age and beyond. Here’s a look at some mistakes you’ll want to avoid ahead of your next walk.
Not Stretching – Stretching is very important before you head off on a walk. Stretching helps to activate key muscle groups and ensure they are ready for the upcoming activity. If you fail to stretch, areas like your calf muscles and hamstrings will be at a heightened risk for strains or tears. Take a couple of minutes before your walk to stretch your feet, legs and trunk.
Not Listening To Music – Music can be helpful in a number of ways on our walk, but a recent study in the Journal of Physiotherapy found that participants who walked to music had a better walking speed and stride length than those who didn’t in the aftermath of a stroke. Walking can help you pick up the tempo, which can help you go further, burn more calories, better develop muscle groups and have an optimal stride length.
Going Too Often Or Too Infrequently – When it comes to exercise, it’s important to find a healthy balance. Walking is something you can do every day if you’re mindful about your approach, but you can also back off and go 4-5 times a week if that’s easier on your feet and your body. Don’t ramp up your distance or duration too quickly, and don’t go weeks without heading out for a walk. Build up your tolerance and endurance slowly, otherwise you can set yourself up for repetitive strain trauma. Find a healthy balance when it comes to your distance, duration and walking frequency.
Your Form Is Off – If you’re leaned too far forward as you walk, that’s going to be putting excess stress on your cervical spine. It’s important to consider your form, even when you’re doing something as simple as walking. Land softly, keep your shoulders relaxed and have your head directly above your shoulders instead of out front. This will help prevent problems in your feet, spine and neck.
You’re Not Being Visible – Finally, you need to make sure that you can easily be seen by others. Wear loud and visible clothing, be aware of your surroundings, and walk with a buddy for extra visibility. This is especially true if you are going to be listening to music, which can sometimes pull your attention away from potential hazards. Be visible and pay attention whenever you’re out for a stroll.
If you can do all these things, we’re confident that you will be doing right by your feet and your whole body. And if pain or discomfort arises in your feet and ankles, reach out to Dr. Silverman and the team at Silverman Ankle & Foot today.