walking for exercise

Easy Exercise – Walking

Walking is an activity that everyone can enjoy, whether for recreation, social or health reasons.

Walking is the easiest and most accessible way for all people to exercise. However before starting, you need to prepare so you avoid injuries. So I’ve included these tips below.

Undertake good preparation
• Always warm up and cool down by walking slowly.
• Stretch leg muscles, particularly calves and thighs.
• Hydrate prior to and after walking and consider taking water on longer walks.

Practise the correct technique
• Walk at a steady pace, swing arms freely and stand straight.
• Poor posture or exaggerated movements can contribute to injury.
• Where possible walk on a clear, smooth, even and reasonably soft surface, like grass.

Wear the right protective clothing
• Wear light, loose, comfortable clothing. In warm weather, wear sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat. In cool weather, layer clothing so outer layers can be removed as the body warms up.
• Wear appropriate footwear. Shoes should have a rubber outsole for durability and spongy mid-sole to add extra cushioning and reduce weight.

Ensure personal safety
• Avoid walking immediately after meals, if unwell, during the hottest part of the day or in extreme weather conditions.
• Stop and rest for 10 minutes if you experience chest, abdominal, neck or arm pain, tightness, vague discomfort, breathlessness, faintness or have any unusual symptoms. If symptoms persist, see a doctor immediately.

Know what to do if you have diabetes
• Examine your feet and ankles before and after walking. If you notice red spots, swellings or other abnormalities, including numbness, tingling or burning, consult your doctor or a podiatrist.
• If you have diabetes, test your blood glucose level before, during (if exercising for a long time) and after walking, especially if you are taking diabetes tablets or insulin.