Now, please don't get me wrong. We all need regular exercise. These and many other fitness programs have helped plenty of folks.
But it's also true that many others have developed medical problems as a result of just "plunging in" - instead of starting with an exercise regiment suited to their age and physical condition.
Studies have shown that joggers of the 70s and 80s have been more prone to developing arthritis of the knee, hip and spine. High-impact aerobics have led to shin splints, heel pain (plantar fasciitis), and stress fractures.
Which brings us to what appears to be the newest fad, but actually it has been around as long as man himself: WALKING.
Sports medicine experts agree that walking can be one of the most beneficial activities, with the least amount of side effects.
Walking on a regular basis has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increase lung capacity and even improve poor circulation. Even the price can't be beat!
Here are some tips to help you get going:
• Start slowly and work up to a more vigorous walking program. I suggest that a person should start by walking 20-30 minutes at first. Walking is most beneficial when one walks without stopping.
- Listen to what your body is telling you. If you develop problems like breathing difficulties or cramps in your legs, stop the activity and consult your doctor.
• After your initial break-in period, try to set goals for yourself, such as walking an hour every morning, or walking one mile a day.
• Make sure you wear comfortable and well-fitting walking shoes.
If you're old enough to remember Nancy Sinatra singing, "These Boots Were Made for Walking," I heartily suggest that you adopt a new mantra: "These comfortable, well fitting shoes are made for walking.”
And walk you should!
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The Foot Pain Center was established in 1974 by Dr. Marc Spitz. An all-inclusive practice, we offers comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic medical care for patients with general foot and toenail disorders, diabetic problems and peripheral neuropathy.