Walking—it’s one of the best forms of exercise out there and an activity that we at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC heartily recommend to our patients for overall good health. However, in order to make sure you derive the full benefits of this exercise without harm, there are some precautions you need to take.
Best Foot Forward
If you have an existing, chronic foot condition or you have injured your foot or ankle recently it’s essential that you meet with one of our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko first to ensure that your foot is protected. Sometimes the foot doctor may prescribe an orthotic device to shift the pressure off a trouble spot or to correct a mechanical problem. In other cases, the podiatrist may have specific recommendations about shoe design to make walking as comfortable as possible. In addition, you should be sure that the shoes you purchase are well made and provide good arch support. Get professionally measured at a sports shoe store and remember to replace shoes after they have reached their maximum use—usually between 300-500 miles. After that the soles and shock absorbing ability of the shoe begins to deteriorate increasing your risk of injury.
In addition to protecting your feet, it’s important to know the “rules of the road” for walking to prevent accidents. The National Safety Council reports that approximately 160,000 pedestrian injuries happen each year. Below are a few tips for helping prevent accidents while walking:
- Never assume that a car is going to stop or go around you.
- Make eye contact with drivers in oncoming cars. This tells you that they have seen you.
- Don’t text or use your cell phone and try to walk at the same time. Over 11,100 pedestrian injuries were caused by cell phone distracted walking in one year!
- Always choose clothes in bright colors for walking.
- Walk with others if possible.
- Only cross a street in a crosswalk.