One of the first things our parents teach us as we grow up is how to walk. Unfortunately, not all of us are aware of the right walking techniques that could help keep our spine and feet healthy, and save us from injuries. Take a look at some common mistakes that people make when walking, and see if you’re guilty of any of them.
Using the wrong walking shoes
Not all “walking shoes” are good for walking. If this describes your shoes, you are setting yourself up for plantar fasciitis, muscle pulls, and knee problems:
- Heavy: Walking shoes should be lightweight, while still providing support and cushioning.
- Stiff: If your shoes have soles that won’t bend at all and you can’t twist them, they are too stiff for fitness walking. Walking shoes should be flexible so you don’t fight them as your foot rolls through the step.
- Over 1 year old: The cushioning and support in your shoes degrade over time. You should replace your shoes every 500 miles.
- Too small: Your feet swell when you take a sustained walk. Your walking shoes should be larger than your dress shoes if you walk for 30 minutes or more for exercise. Do you need bigger shoes? Source: VeryWellFit
Letting your mind wander the entire time
If you always let your mind go free on your walks, you’re missing an opportunity to strengthen your mind-body connection. Instead, periodically check in with what the different parts of your body are doing: Are your shoulders relaxed? Are your elbows bent? Is your core engaged? And so on. And, like yoga, pay attention to your breathing. “A very common mistake is that people don’t breathe enough while walking,” Dreyer adds. For every breath out, take about 3 to 4 steps, and for every breath in take about 2 steps. Source: Prevention
Skipping the warmup
Warmups aren’t just for marathoners and professional athletes. In fact, Kathy Kaehler, author, celebrity trainer and host of the “Fit and Sexy For Life” podcast, believes the more often you skip the warmup, the more likely you are to get injured.
For a proper warmup, Kaehler suggests walking at a comfortable pace for five minutes and then stopping to stretch all the major muscle groups from head to toe, including shoulder rolls, side stretches, hip circles, quad stretches and ankle rotations. Once your muscles are warm and stretched, proceed with your walk. Source: Blog.MyFitnessPal
Experiencing pain during or after a walking session? We can help you out! Call us today!
Dr. Brian Floyd
3721 Delbrook Ave #119, North Vancouver, BC V7N 3Z4