FEELING GREAT: Remember, you don’t get old and stiff, you get stiff and old!

Last week I told you about the importance of the right footwear when it comes to walking. It’s a glorious time to get out and about right now and enjoy the summer days and evenings.

“If you’re already suffering from something like a bad or stiff lower back, or have arthritic knees, it’s best to avoid hilly and uneven surfaces completely.”
“If you’re already suffering from something like a bad or stiff lower back, or have arthritic knees, it’s best to avoid hilly and uneven surfaces completely.”

And, while walking along the beach or around the park is one thing, if you’re a bit more adventurous and like to walk in the hills or woods, or, you’re a serious weekend walker and part of a group who do it for more than just fun, then your footwear choice has to be much more sturdy.

Now, have you got a pen handy? Because I want you to make a note of this next tip that I’ve got for you, which might save you some frustration and some money.

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If you’re ever purchasing a pair of walking shoes, the best time to try them on in the shop in late morning or mid-afternoon.

Why, I hear you ask?

Because your feet swell up during the day and if you go and get fitted for shoes first thing in the morning, you might not get an accurate fit and end up buying a pair that seemed to fit perfectly in the shop, but are actually just a bit too tight when you put them on when you are heading out for a walk or stroll.

It goes without saying that’s not good for comfort or blood circulation to your ankle joint and can cause wear and tear and pain. It’s a simple thing to consider, but something most people just don’t and won’t realise – at least until it’s too late.

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And here’s one final thing to note on walking: if you’re already suffering from something like a bad or stiff lower back, or have arthritic knees, it’s best to avoid hilly and uneven surfaces completely.

Walking on these surfaces makes it more likely that you’ll have a more swollen knee, or an even stiffer lower back due to the extra pressure, stress and demands placed on your body.

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To sum up: walking on flat, even surfaces is much healthier for your joints and will likely limit any problems enough to allow you to enjoy your walking for days, weeks, months and even years to come.

So get out there and enjoy the summer and the long, warm evenings. Have an ice cream to celebrate!

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You don’t need to always be power walking – a gentle stroll is a great exercise for so many of you and, remember, you don’t get old and stiff, you get stiff and old.... think about it!