THIS year alone, the amount of people out walking has progressively grown and I’m certain that people are getting wiser to the whole health buzz that’s sweeping the nation at the moment.
They’re discovering, and rediscovering, that exercise and movement are essential to good health. With all the publicity that Operation Transformation is getting on TV and all those involved in the Million Pound Challenge – attempting to lose over a million pounds weight collectively throughout the country – more and more people are just getting out there and doing it.
So go on, join them if you haven’t already. Dig out your trainers, your trackies and your hi-vis vest and get out there and get with the rest of the population that are really trying.
Proper comfortable trainers or shoes are so important. Experts say that walking in proper trainers will improve posture. The curved insole distributes pressure evenly across the foot, which reduces stress to the hips and knees.
If you spot cheap trainers, say in a discount shop, and you say this price is for ‘nothing’ and they’ll be fine for walking, then your wrong.
Chances are these inferior shoes have no support, no cushioning, no stability and are bad for your feet.
Why do you think Asics, Adidas, Nike and other ‘big’ trainer companies spend millions every year in developing these shoes?
It’s for the comfort. Also, expensive shoes cost less in the ‘long run.’ They are dearer to buy at the start, but over time, they last longer, wear better, put up with more punishment and, if they fit correctly, then they actually prevent injury.
So my advice is not to buy cheap runners. Buy the best you can afford.
Use upper body
Using your upper body while you walk means you get a whole body workout and potentially burn up to 50% more calories.
So, don’t be afraid to swing your arms and bend your elbows. Also, concentrate on lengthening your step. Increasing your stride will help you to work more efficiently.
When going out shopping, why not walk to the shops or park further away? Why not walk to work if it’s close by?
When talking on the phone, why not walk from room to room? You’ll be surprised how many steps you take in a few minutes.
Also, going for a walk at lunchtime is worth all the hassle. Bring your tracksuit and trainers to work, quick change, fast 20 minutes around the block, back to work, nice relaxing cup of tea and eat your sandwich ... job done!
Like I said before, you can make improvements or you can make excuses. Your choice, but you can’t do both.
And remember, laziness is not an option.
Paudie O’Donovan is a qualified neuromuscular physical
therapist specialising in pain relief and improvement of
mobility/flexibility. He is masseur to the Cork senior
football team and runs a sports injury clinic at
Quarryvale, Coolnagrane, Skibbereen.
(Fully registered with Laya and Aviva)
Contact: 086-2339618 or follow him on Facebook.
EVENTS GUIDE FOR FEBRUARY
Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon / half marathon / 10k.
Glow Run 5k fun run in Skibbereen. A real family occasion.
Mealagh Valley 10-mile road race.
Donal Crowley Cycling Sportive in Blarney.
Fota Island Sprint Challenge Duathlon.