Walk This Way 2018 – Week 3

How Exciting! You are entering into your third week of "Walk This Way" – Great Job!

This week, you will start to work a little harder with a gradual increase in the length of your walking sessions.

Set Up a Support Network to Ensure Success

It is likely that you have had to make some adjustments to fit your new walking routine into your life, which is not always the easiest thing to do! Try to find people who will support you and help make it happen. Depending on your circumstances, this many mean getting someone to take care of the kids while you head out the door, or having your partner start supper. Perhaps it means finding someone at work to join you at lunchtime for that added camaraderie. Just know that you’ve made a solid start, and you’ve got to keep riding this motivational wave to keep it going.

 

Walking Has an Impact on Your Body

With every step you take, there is 1-2 times your weight of force on all parts of your body. This starts when your foot makes contact with the ground, and spreadsupward through your muscles, tendons and bones, from your legs up to your back and even to your shoulders. Don’t be surprised if you feel some small discomforts as your body adjusts to the increased activity. You are likely calling on body parts that haven’t been working regularly! Don’t worry – most of these small aches and pains will disappear as your body adapts. Remember – this walking regimen is new to your body. The faster the pace, the greater the impact. The “Walk This Way Program” is not about speed, and that’s why it’s important to always walk at a comfortable talking pace. If you are unable to carry on a conversation, stringing together a few sentences at a time, then you need to take it easy on yourself and slow down!

Technique Tip! Keep your shoulders and arms loose, especially when you start to feel tired. Swing your arms and press the tips of your thumbs against another finger, as if you are about to snap your fingers. The concentrated pressure point helps to relax the shoulders and upper body. These little changes may help to reduce any feelings of discomfort you may have.
 

Personal Discomfort Scale

Each individual has a perception of discomfort that is personal. If you are experiencing some unfamiliar aches & pains, commonly in the shins or knees, then try to analyze what you are feeling as follows:

Imagine a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a level of very little discomfort, and 10 being a level of extreme discomfort. Rate yourself on that scale every time you walk. If, for example, your awareness begins as a “2”, but increases to “4 or 5”, you need to pay attention and monitor your discomfort.  If the awareness increases higher than a “5 or 6” and remains this way longer than a couple of days, then you are doing too much too soon, and you will need to back off slightly. Record what you are feeling in that logbook, so that you become aware of whether what you are feeling is ok or needs attention.

 

Vary your Walking Surface

Try to get off the pavement as often as possible and experience the beautiful parks and trails in your community.  The variety is fun, and less impact on the body by walking on a softer surface will help prevent the development of unnecessary aches and pains.  Soft grass and dirt trails are easy on the body, but watch out for discrete holes, sprinklers and tree roots so that you don’t trip and fall.

Most Importantly – be proud of yourself!  You are doing GREAT!

 

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