FEELING GREAT: When it comes to being active it pays to mix it up a little bit
Let's start this week with some easy and very actionable health tips - ones you can begin to use right away after reading, tips which will help protect vital joints and help you to remain active and able to exercise for a lot longer.
OK, so a little-known secret about protecting vital joints such as your knees is this: the path you choose to walk or run on can have serious repercussions and make the painful process of arthritis happening inside joints inevitable.
If you have a choice, uneven and gravelly surfaces should be avoided.
That may appear to be a simple message, but here’s why it’s important for you to apply it: any surface that doesn’t offer a flat, stable base will test your balance, stress your joints and your muscle strength and even your energy levels, all to a point where you could be doing more harm than good.
As is the case across all walks of life, in moderation, anything is usually fine. We tell patients that each week here in the Physio Rooms, but the big problems come when you’re choosing to walk the same path every night, week after week, month after month.
Why? It’s because doing anything of the same kind repeatedly for too long just isn’t good for your body.
When it comes to being active (and walking or running) and keeping on the go for years longer, nothing trumps changing the surface you stroll on to give some muscles a rest, working some others at the same time.
With that said, want to know what your best options are? OK, here you go: you’d be wise to mix it up a little and alternate between the beach, grassland and a flat tarmac surface and, occasionally, hills or woodland is fine.
If you’re more worried about looking good whilst you’re on the move, chances are your health account is going to suffer and deplete quickly.
Many women gasp in horror when I advise them to stop wearing high heels, which might look nice but aren’t healthy for vital joints, in favour of trainers!
Now, most people know that the more cushion you have on your shoes, the less impact through your joints. That’s why sandals or lose fitting plimsolls should never be worn when you’re being active or exercising.