Preparing to do a lot of walking? Whether you’ve signed up for a 5k or you’re planning a walking tour in Greece, Italy or France there are some precautions you can take to help keep your stamina up, avoid sore feet, injuries and blisters and really enjoy your walk.
Just like your mother always told you, stay hydrated! And sorry, wine and cocktails don’t count! Make sure you are continuously drinking water as you go. Hydrate every 10 minutes if you can. Better to sip than to gulp.
2. LUBRICATE THOSE FEET
You’ll be amazed at how much better your feet will feel if you smear your feet with something like Vaseline, Glide or foot cream. It really makes a huge difference at the end of the day.
3. TRIM YOUR TOENAILS
Trim those toenails nice an short. You could lose a toe nail if they are too long. You might want to wait to get a pedicure for after you’re done walking. You’re going to put a lot of wear and tear on those feet.
Not just before the walk, but continue to stretch as you go along. Every time there’s a pause or a break, do some stretches.
This is not the time for dieting, eat foods high in heme iron. That’s going to meat protein like beef, chicken and seafood. Eat small meals as you go. It’s better to eat 4 or more small meals than one big one. It will help keep your energy up and keep you from feeling weighed down. Eat fresh foods instead of junk food. It will make a huge difference in your energy level and how you feel in general.
Make sure you have good socks. Socks that breathe and have cushion in them. Get some good athletic socks.
Take a few minutes at the end of your walk to stretch and let your body cool down. It will help you avoid injuries and sore muscles.
If you’re going to carry belongings with you bring a backpack that sits evenly on both shoulders. An over the shoulder bag or purse will throw your balance off and could leave you with a sore back at the end of the day.
Avoid sandals and open toed shoes, even if they are very comfortable, now is not the time. Be sure you have a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers. Something with support and cushion. Flat’s like Converse don’t provide the right kind of support for your legs or back and will leave you feeling sore at the end.
10. SURVIVAL & FIRST AID KIT
I carry a tiny first aid kit in a sandwich size zip lock baggie. A few bandages, sunblock, bug spray, lotion, chapstick, antibiotic ointment, dental floss and tweezers – these are essentials for any walk if you ask me. If you get a splinter, blister, dry skin, chapped lips, or find out there are bugs you didn’t expect, you’ll be so glad you have these items with you. I also consider sunglasses and a hat to be part of my basic survival kit.
Do you have any other tips for long walks?