• Amy Osik

Walk This Way

There has been an increase in outdoor activity as a result of the pandemic and now that the weather is becoming more bearable you may be tempted to lace up your sneakers. Walking, especially outside, can help with mental clarity, increasing vitamin D levels and improving your mood. If you choose to hike on trails instead you'll find that it requires more energy and burns more calories than walking on a level path. Before you head outside find out what you can do to make the most of your time outside and stay safe.

  • Hydrate. Whether you're walking outside or on the treadmill you want to make sure you hydrate throughout the day. Remember that drinking water is an all day task, not a last minute sprint. Start early and keep drinking. To keep it simple I divide my weight in half and drink that number in ounces every day (150/2=75 ounces of water). Even if it's cold outside you still want to stay hydrated. Water is not just for hot summer days.

  • Stretch. If your walk is on a level path or an intense hiking trail you will want to take the time to stretch. There are a lot of different stretches out there that will help you prepare; here are a few of my favorites from www.active.com :

  • Safety. Be sure to always follow basic safety tips:

  • Pick a familiar location, especially if you're heading out alone

  • If you are not walking in a well lit area, invest in a reflective vest

  • Only wear one ear bud so that you can hear what is going on around you

  • Keep your belongings secure. I use a FlipBelt to hold my phone and keys

  • Shoes. Wearing the right shoe can make or break a walk. Know your terrain and know your feet. If you are suffering from frequent shin splints or other muscle pains it may be the shoes on your feet causing the problem. Getting a gait analysis is free/low cost and having it done by a professional can be as easy as going to the right shoe store. Elite Feet in Middletown, DE will do a full analysis and recommend the right shoe for you.

  • Cool Down. Always leave time to get your heart rate back down and perform some light stretches. Check out this article from Silver Sneakers for a quick cool down routine that everyone should be doing.

Happy Trails! ~ Amy

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