It’s almost summer and you know what that mean. Its walking outside season.
Today’s blog will be about tips to help improve walking and minimize the chance of injury. Walking can also be used for rehabilitation. We could use walking to help lower back pain as well as neck and upper back pain. One of my favorite authors Dr. Stu McGill uses this quote “walking is nature’s back balm”.
How much time should you start with, if you have not been walking or just starting out? I would start with 20 to 30 minutes. Once this time becomes comfortable and easy you can start to increase your time or distance. A good rule of thumb is 10%. Never increase time or distance more than 10% a week. If you hit a time or distance that is challenging you can stay at that time or distance for 4 weeks or until it becomes easy and then start increasing again.
In the beginning it might be helpful to wear a heart rate monitor so you can better judge effort. A good target heart rate to train at is: 180-(your age). This heart rate is safe and it will not be pushing yourself to hard. This heart rate will be your zone 2 or fat burning zone. Your muscles will be using fat for the vast majority of fuel during your training. This heart rate is also a heart rate which you could sustain for long periods of time.
Walking can also be used for rehabilitation. We could use walking to help lower back pain as well as neck and upper back pain. One of my favorite authors Stue McGill uses this quote “walking is nature’s back balm”.
So let’s start from the ground up. Comfortable shoes or sneakers are important. So if you have a specific pair that works for you continue. If you’re going to buy a new pair. The most important tip is the shoe should feel Good and comfortable. So if you try the shoe on and walk around the store and it does not feel good this shoe will not work. On the other hand if you try a shoe on and it feels great. that shoe will work for your body. Studies have shown how the shoe feels is more important than other aspects such as stability or cushioning. So pick a shoe based on comfort. Once you have a good pair of shoes that works with your body make sure your shoes are tied. This will help prevent you from getting blisters or hotspots in your foot if you start walking for longer periods of time.
Stand up straight.
Good posture is important that only four sitting in front of the computer but also is important for most of our activities this will include walking. The vast majority of patients or people in today’s world sit too much. So walking is great way to improve one’s posture. Only if we walk with good posture will our posture improve. Chin up, shoulders back(no slouching). Head over shoulders, shoulders over hips.