Smart Walking

Posted 10/11/2013 | By HealthCorps

Walking on a regular basis is a well-accepted healthy habit.  It promotes heart health, strengthens bones, can help with weight loss or weight maintenance, and may reduce your risk of cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s important to avoid certain errors when engaging in this type of exercise:

Walk upright, looking ahead but be aware of the trail or path ahead of you.  Walking stooped over can cause acute and chronic back pain.

Though some people grab hand-held weights, or strap on ankle weights for added challenge, these can increase your risk of injury.  Walk uphill if you want to increase your effort, or wear a weighted vest, which distributes the extra weight over your body surface .

Stretching cold muscles instead of warming up with slow, active movement can raise the risk of joint injuries.  Cold muscles and ligaments can literally tear if you begin to stretch them before your body is warm.  Save the stretching for after your exercise regimen.

Using very cushioned shoes can give you a false sense of security.  Though they pad your foot and make you feel like you’re bouncing through your walk, they can lack side-to-side stability and give you a false sense of security.  Walk in a supportive shoe that has some basic cushioning and moderate support.

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