Our bodies were designed for movement, so walking is a great way to get in your daily exercise; however, this does not mean it isn’t tough on our feet. In an average lifetime, most humans will walk around 110,000 miles; how can this not have some sort of impact? Walking helps to build up the muscles and ligaments in our feet to work more efficiently and keep them agile and flexible! 

The good news is our bodies are incredibly adaptable, including the small parts such as our feet! They can suffer a large amount of pressure before they rebel, so don’t let the risk of foot problems stop you from taking that hike you were so looking forward to! With this in mind, it is also vital that we do not sit for prolonged periods; if your job requires a lot of sitting, make sure you take a short walk when you take a break! 

Much like running and jogging, walking helps condition your body and improves your overall cardiovascular health with a lot less risk of injury. Although, you should consult with a podiatrist if you begin to experience pain when walking or consider a visit before embarking on your walking adventures. 

How to stay comfortable on your walk

One of the most important things to remember to keep your feet healthy and comfortable is wearing properly fitting footwear regardless of the walking you participate in. I’m sure many people have found out that one manufacturer’s size may not necessarily be the same as another’s

Did you know your feet can expand by as much as half a size during the day? Therefore, it would be wise to shop for your new footwear in the afternoon or early evening when your feet are at their largest. Furthermore, wearing a similar sock-style when fitting shoes that you wear when you walk will help you choose the correct shoes – once you’ve made your purchase take good care of them! This includes polishing your new kicks regularly and allowing them to dry thoroughly if they get wet before wearing them again. 

Is it a long walk on your to-do list? Well, make sure you plan well ahead! Wear your new shoes on a ‘trial walk’ and gradually build up the distance; don’t try to complete a marathon on your first trip! And, don’t forget to pack some first aid supplies, including sterile plasters and antiseptic cream; you never know when accidents may occur, especially blisters, as new shoes can rub in different places.

Finally, you should apply vaseline between your toes to avoid chafing. Start your walk at a steady pace and increase gradually; this will allow your feet and body time to adjust to the exercise. 

A few tips to bear in mind:

  • Try on at least four or five pairs of shoes.
  • Put on and lace both shoes of each pair and walk around for a minute or two.
  • Good foot care is essential to keeping your feet healthy and injury-free.
  • Have a stretching routine before and after your walk.

If you are experiencing any discomfort when you are walking, don’t hesitate to visit a podiatrist. Remember, leaving a problem and continuing like normal will in most cases make the problem worse.

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