It's National Walking Month - let's get walking!
May is National Walking Month!
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do - it's low impact, requires little kit, almost anyone can do it and you can do it almost anywhere.
Walking can burn around 80-100 calories per mile and it's a great way to stay active and improve your fitness. Exercise and being in the great outdoors are good for your mental health too.
Fitting in walking:
If you don’t move much, now’s a good time to start moving more and walking is the perfect entry level exercise. So let's get walking:
- Walk during your lunch hour: spend 20+ minutes of your lunch hour away from your desk – get outside for a walk in the fresh air, explore the environment around your place of work.
- Take the stairs up and down instead of the lift, walk up and down escalators instead of standing still, take the long route around your office building.
- Park your car further away from your destination and walk the last bit.
- Get up half an hour earlier and go for a walk before work.
- Use a fitness tracker with a step counter, or a step counter app on your phone to track your daily steps. Pick a target number, start with 10,000 steps per day, and work towards getting your steps in each day. Increase your target as you walk more.
- parkrun! Walkers are very welcome at all parkruns all around the UK and the world. Register on the parkrun website, print off your barcode and turn up to your local event. They are FREE timed 5km (3.1 mile) events and they happen every Saturday at 9am. If you’re even the tiniest bit competitive, the fact that you receive a time for each event should encourage you to turn up regularly and beat your personal best time and perhaps your friend's too. parkrun can be addictive and it might even encourage you to run a little…
The Long Distance Walker:
If you walk regularly how about walking further?
Physio Remedies’ team member Nik (AKA NoviceRunnerNik) is off to Northumberland to walk all 97 miles of St Oswald’s Way next month over six days.
Here are her 10 top tips for A Good Long Distance Walk:
- If you’re goal driven, sign up for a long distance event to train for – the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) runs many walking events around the UK and holds details of other events too.
- Wear well-fitting shoes/boots and decent walking socks – get your walking boots fitted by trained fitters – I highly recommend Cotswold Outdoor (I always buy my boots and waterproofs here. I promise I’m not on commission!).
- Use walking poles to ease pressure on knees, especially on downhill paths
- Good kit to have: comfortable rucksack, good waterproof jacket, hat, sunglasses, hydration bladder (easier to drink from than a water bottle, less chance of becoming dehydrated), small first aid kit including Compeed for any blisters, sun block, spare walking socks.
- Train sensibly – start on short walks and build up your distance gradually.
- Be prepared for your walks – plan your route, take a paper map in case of phone/GPS failure. Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Take snacks, water, lunch, icecream money and warm clothing in case the weather changes. Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
- Stay hydrated and fuelled throughout your walk. You’ll enjoy it so much more if you’re feeling on top form.
- Rest every hour or so and at the tops of inclines for a few minutes to 'admire the view'.
- If you feel any pressure hotspots on your feet, investigate and apply a Compeed patch, before it turns into a blister.
- Enjoy being in the great outdoors!
As with everything, prevention is better than cure. Issues with feet can affect knees and backs too. If you have any concerns about your walking, our Foot & Ankle specialists can check you out and offer advice on footwear and foot support. Call us on 02030 12 12 22 to make an appointment.
Words and image by Nik Bathe (AKA NoviceRunnerNik).