How walking impacts on the foot
In an average lifetime, we walk about 100,000 miles, which is tough on our feet, yet our bodies were designed for moving not standing still, so walking is good exercise. Walking helps the muscles and ligaments in our feet to work more efficiently and keep them supple and flexible.
Potential problems and when to seek the help of a Podiatrist
Walking at a brisk pace for regular exercise helps condition the body and improve overall cardiovascular health in the same way running and jogging do but compared with running, walking carries a significantly lower risk of injury.
Consult your Podiatrist if you start to develop pain when walking, or consider a visit before embarking on your new walking programme.
The key to keeping your feet healthy and comfortable regardless of the type of walking you do, is wearing properly fitting shoes.
When buying walking shoes, try on several different brands, styles and most importantly sizes. Your feet can expand as much as half a size during the day, so shop for shoes in the afternoon or early evening when your feet are at their largest, that will help protect them as they expand during your longer walks. Wear walking socks when trying on new walking boots.
Maintaining healthy feet for walking
Begin your walk at a slower pace and gradually increase the speed of your walk, this will give the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments that make up your feet the chance to get used to the activity. If you experience any discomfort or foot pain, then it may be an indication that something more serious is wrong. In many cases, early diagnosis can prevent a small injury from becoming a larger one.
Common injuries sustained when walking
- Bunion pain
- Heel pain
- Shin pain
- Ankle sprain
- Achilles tendonitis
- Ingrowing toenails