7 walking tips
Get the most out of your walking workout with these expert ideasBy Bonnie Schiedel
- Banish blisters with the Band-Aid Anti-Blister Stick, about $10 at drugstores. Just apply the solid lubricant (it looks like a mini stick of deodorant) to your foot’s trouble spots to eliminate friction and stop blisters before they start.
- Walk tall Poor posture can lead to injury for fitness walkers, explains Linda Dagenais, a physiotherapist in Timmins, Ont. “Some common problems are leaning forward too much, tensing the shoulders and not swinging the arms enough.”
- Drink up Swig from a chic stainless steel bottle, available at sporting goods and health food stores for about $18 and up. And keep that water icy cold during your walk with innovative slim “ice sticks” that fit neatly into sports bottles. (They’re available at some kitchen supply stores for about $12 for two trays.)
- Don’t break the bank According to a recent small study of nine different pairs of shoes, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, pricey shoes (around $150) aren’t really any better than less expensive ones (around $85). Look for sneakers that can be firmly laced up, and have a cushioned, smooth interior. Your toes should be able to move freely, with up to one centimetre of space from the tip of your big toe to the end of the shoe. Seamless socks made of cotton, wool or a synthetic fibre such as CoolMax are preferable because they won’t chafe or get soggy with sweat.
- Walk and learn Taking a vacation this summer? Download a walking tour of cities ranging from Dublin to Shanghai onto your iPod or MP3 player. They’re available at tourcaster.com. Some are free; others cost up to US$25.
- Set a goal Give your motivation a boost by training for a specific charity walk, such as the Super Cities Walk for MS, Joints in Motion or the CIBC Run for the Cure.
- Walk safe Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who felt unsafe in their communities after dark took a thousand fewer steps a day. If you feel your neighbourhood is a little too dicey for a walk after sundown, talk to your local health centre about getting an after-hours walking program started in a local mall or school.
Best Health Magazine, Spring 2008