Interestingly, the current American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine standards call for able-bodied adults to do moderate-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) for at least 30 minutes on five days each week or intense aerobic exercise (such as running) for at least 20 minutes three days each week. At Jacksonville Foot and Laser, we understand that whether you are walking or running, you are making a commitment to yourself to be more physically active, which offers major health benefits over time. People who have not exercised regularly in a long time may want to begin with walking and then progress to running. Unlike running, walking is also suitable—and beneficial—for people with certain medical conditions.
The best thing about walking or running as your primary method of exercise is the only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes! Jacksonville Foot and Laser wants you to take care of your feet and avoid common injuries associated with walking and/or running:
- Your shoes should be comfortable and supportive and fit in such a way that they do not cause blisters or calluses on your feet.
- Select shoes that support your arch and slightly elevate the heel.
- There should be firm material surrounding the heel that keeps your heel from turning, sliding, or wobbling.
- The toe box should be roomy but not too big or too long.
- Look for a padded tongue and heel pad, but nothing too snug or constricting.
- The material should be should be light, breathable, and flexible, the insole moisture-resistant, and the sole shock-absorbent.
- Clearly fit and comfort are more important than style, but most of today’s athletic brands have shoes that are comfortable and stylish!
- Remember, if you walk or run up to 10 miles per week, then you will need to replace your shoes every 9 to 12 months.
To avoid additional problems, always listen to your body, stay well-hydrated, and avoid hazardous conditions. Consider walking in a mall if it’s too hot, cold, wet, or slippery outdoors. You can always run on a treadmill in your home or gym if outdoor conditions are precarious or unsafe. You can also reduce your risk of injuries by walking or running on smooth, even surfaces that are softer rather than hard.
Jacksonville Foot and Laser believes that moderation is the key to any type of safe exercise. Whether you are walking or running, start slowly and gradually build up in intensity, frequency, and duration. In addition, if you have an existing health problem, you should contact your doctor before beginning any type of exercise or physical activity.
So whether you are strolling at a leisurely pace or running marathons – Jacksonville Foot and Laser recommends that you take care of your feet and seek the advice of your physician for any health related issues. If you experience any foot-related injuries, schedule a visit with Dr. Burmeister for an evaluation and exam.