February 13, 2018
Walking the walk
Protect toes from blisters and toenails from bruises by wearing proper-fitting footwear.
Make sure boots/shoes are a good fit. Footwear too loose, allowing foot to move around in the shoe can cause as many complications as too tight.
Keep nails short.
Select material for socks that wick away moisture and protect from the cold.
Shoes or boots? I wear shoes on low level walking and boots for the hills. However many enthusiasts will argue that good hiking or trail shoes are the business for hills too.
Condition shoes/boots before setting out on a hike.
If you are going off the beaten track, know the hiking route and options for accessing medical assistance.
Carry basic first aid like padding or gel dressings for blisters. Add items such as bandages and wraps, to help immediately protect and stabilize injured feet and ankles.
I am focusing on the lower limbs here, and areas that apply to low level walks. However if you are going hill walking make sure to research other areas such as communication (e.g. charged phone),navigation ( I use a Garmin E-Trex touch 25 which is also designed for cycling), survival bag, spare nutrition etc.
If you have a history of pains or discomfort in the lower limbs during or after exercise it is well worth making an appointment with the Foot Specialist (that’s me) for an assessment. It can be amazing how simple interventions can greatly enhance your comfort.
Finally do get out in the open air. Cut your cloth to your measure when starting off, and set realistic goals. All exercise should be progressive, so try to gradually increase the time and distance. But even if you don’t greatly increase the amount, remember, the latest research shows that even a modest amount of regular exercise can greatly increase wellbeing and life expectancy.