It’s a glorious time to get out and about right now and enjoy the summer days and evenings.
And, while walking along the beach or around the park is one thing, if you’re a bit more adventurous and like to walk in the hills or woods, or, you’re a serious weekend walker and part of a group who do it for more than just fun, then your footwear choice has to be much more sturdy.
With that in mind, here’s a nice story for you. In March 2013 I took a walk up a mountain called Toubkal, in Morocco. At 4,167 meters above sea level it’s the highest mountain in North Africa and to conquer it I had no option but to choose comfort and safety over style and opt for proper mountain climbing boots. And you should too - even if you’re not climbing mountains in North Africa, but are just regularly walking on a hilly or gravelly surface in the North East, you should make sure you’re wearing the right walking boots.
Now, have you got a pen handy? Because I want you to make a note of this next tip that I’ve got for you, which might save you some frustration and some money. If you’re ever purchasing a pair of walking shoes, the best time to try them on in the shop is late morning or mid-afternoon. Why?
Because your feet swell up during the day and if you go and get fitted for shoes first thing in the morning, you might not get an accurate fit and end up buying a pair that seemed to fit perfectly in the shop, but are actually just a bit too tight when you put them on. And that’s not good for comfort or blood circulation to your ankle joint.
And here’s one final thing to note on walking: if you’re already suffering from something like a bad or stiff lower back, or have arthritic knees, it’s best to avoid hilly and uneven surfaces completely. Walking on these surfaces makes it more likely that you’ll have a more swollen knee, or an even stiffer lower back due to the extra pressure, stress and demands placed on your body.
To sum up: walking on flat, even surfaces is much healthier for your joints and will likely limit any problems enough to allow you to enjoy your walking for years to come.
For more tips and advice, please get in touch for a FREE copy of my book The Healthy Habit. It is essential reading people aged 50+ in the North-East, and for anyone that would like to improve their own healthy habits. Please call 01429 866771 or visit paulgoughphysio.com.