Canadians, regardless of age, have discovered how walking is one of the most fun, natural, and inexpensive ways of keeping your feet in top shape. The basic kind of walking often called “healthwalking” can be done almost anywhere, anytime, year around. For those who are overly inactive, don’t like strenuous activity, or have problems with obesity, walking is an excellent way to begin a fitness program.
Here are some of the benefits:
Walking helps control weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. A brisk walk can burn up to 100 calories per mile or 300 calories per hour.
Walking also improves cardiovascular fitness. As an aerobic exercise, walking gets the heart beating faster to transport oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. The heart and lungs grow more efficient with regular walking, reducing blood pressure and the resting heart rate. Walking is even a central element of medical rehabilitation.
Recovery from many ailments, including heart attack, is facilitated by a regular walking regimen. In addition, walking creates an overall feeling of wellbeing, and can relieve depression, anxiety, and stress by producing endorphins, the body’s natural tranquilizer. A brisk walk will relax you and also stimulate your thinking.
And to make your regular walking fun and painless, make sure you take good care of your feet! Wear thick, absorbent socks (acrylic is preferable to cotton); dry feet well after bathing, paying special attention to the toes, and use powder before putting on shoes.
Nails should be cut regularly, straight across the toe. Avoid self-treatment of corns and calluses with over-the-counter remedies before starting to walk. And if you have bunions or hammertoes, consult a professional. If you are more than 40 years old and have any problems with weight, respiration, blood pressure, pulse rate, or cholesterol, check with your doctor before beginning a walking regimen. The same goes for diabetics, smokers, or people with pre-existing injuries or a family history of heart problems.
In an ongoing series, Anamelva will share her knowledge regarding common foot ailments and appropriate treatments. Most of us will encounter a problem at one time or another, so read and learn! If you’re in pain, or suffer from any of the ensuing conditions, call Anamelva today!