FEELING GREAT: Correct footwear will get you walking on air

STURDY BOOTS ... your footwear needs to give you support if you're taking up walking.
STURDY BOOTS ... your footwear needs to give you support if you're taking up walking.

So after last week’s public announcement about the publication of my new book The Healthy Habit, I got to meet in person at least a dozen readers of this column who called into my clinic to pick up their copy.

And it was great to hear from yet more people in the town who value their health too much to risk losing it ... as a result, I had some interesting conversations and one of them was all about knee pain.

Specifically, the different type of shoes that you can choose to wear to protect two of your most prized assets.

Let me tell you briefly how that conversation went:

So, on the face of it, walking appears to be a really safe way to keep fit and active, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re being kind to your knees by doing it regularly.

But, there are a few things I’d like you to know about walking to make sure your walk is as enjoyable, healthy and comfortable as possible.

So here goes: how strong and flexible your lower back is will affect how painful your knees become if you’re a regular walker.

Also important is the surface you walk or run on, such as a hard or uneven surface, or a soft piece of grassland.

And the one most people don’t know about... what you choose to wear on your feet.

So let’s talk about the latter - and make sure you know everything you need to know about it to protect yourself as best you can – especially as May is National Walking Month and you might feel more tempted to do some of it.

Ok, if you enjoy a gentle evening stroll along the seafront, or around the local park whilst chatting with a friend, then a simple pair of cushioned trainers will do.

But, seriously, be careful with your choice, as some of the fashionable plimsoll-style trainers offer very little support for your ankles and feet, and will mean that your knee joint is likely to be moving around a little too much.

If that happens, your knee bones will rub together, causing the wear and tear to increase.

The problem is this: you’ll never know it’s happening, at least not until you see some swelling or feel heat coming from your knee.

I assure you, your knee is under much added stress if your footwear isn’t protecting it by absorbing some shock from the pavement and keeping it in a steady position.

A similar thing can happen if you wear flip-flops or sandals.

This is a particular problem for ladies in the summer months who choose to swap their high heels for lighter sandals.

Don’t be surprised if after a two-week holiday when you’ve likely been wearing flat sandals all day, you suddenly develop a pain in and around the back of your ankle.

If you do, it’s a good sign that you’ve irritated your Achilles tendon – which can be a long-term problem that many ladies suffer from daily.

Walking along the beach or around the park is one thing, but 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.

There’s more from the book when you look HERE.