It’s time for New Year’s resolutions, and at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we know that many of our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients will be thinking about starting new exercise regimens. One of the best and easiest fitness activities you can do is walking.
Some benefits of walking include:
- It’s a great choice if you have been inactive for a period of time.
- Walking has a host of health benefits: improved circulation, helps with weight loss or maintenance, reduces stress, lowers cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar, to name a few.
- Walking can be done indoors or out.
- You don’t need expensive equipment—just a good pair of walking shoes.
- It can be done with others or on your own.
- You can take it with you wherever you go.
Before you begin any new fitness program, you should consult your physician. It’s also a good idea to make an appointment at our Long Beach office (call: 562-420-9800) for a podiatric checkup. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas will want to do a complete foot and ankle examination. If you have any chronic podiatric conditions such as bunions or plantar fasciitis, the foot doctor will want to evaluate how that condition has progressed and alert you to specific shoe features that will make walking safer and more comfortable. Once you’ve got the green light from your doctors, take the next steps:
- Purchase a pair of good quality shoes designed specifically for walking. Shoes should have a firm heel counter, good arch support, thick, cushioned sole for excellent shock absorption and plenty of room in the toe box. It’s best to go to a sports shoe store and get the assistance of professional. Have your feet measured and let the salesperson know if the podiatrist has told you anything particular about your gait or pronation.
- Make a plan. There are many walking programs available or you can just start on your own. What’s important is that you start off slowly and gradually build up your speed and the duration of your walking. Too much too soon can result in Achilles tendonitis and muscle strains.
- Stay accountable. You may want to enlist a friend to walk with to help you both stay on track. If going it alone, try to commit to a certain number of times a week, and best, if it’s at specific times and days to ensure you stick to your plan. Put walking dates on your calendar.
- Be sure to warm up and stretch before and after your walk. If you experience any pain or discomfort, contact us to get it checked out.