One of the best exercises is walking. It keeps muscles healthy and joints flexible, you can enjoy the outdoors, and, if you join a walking group, you can meet new friends with common interests.
The average American walks between 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, which is approximately 1.5 to 2 miles. To find out how many steps you currently walk, your smartphone probably has a preinstalled app to measure your steps. If you’re healthy, try to work up to 10,000 steps per day. This typically burns about 2000 to 3500 extra calories each week. One pound of body fat equals 3500 calories, so depending on your weight and workout intensity, you could lose about one pound per week.
But it’s important we take care of our feet. Getting a pair of sneakers that’s right for your stride and how your foot lands is a smart idea to protect your feet and improve your exercise routine. Here’s how to recognize it’s time to make your footwear work for you:
Sign #1 – YOUR SHOES HAVE MORE WEAR ON THE INSIDE EDGES OF THE SOLES
This indicates your feet’s arches collapse inward, or overpronate, which is what causes many knee and shin issues. There are sneakers designed to correct overpronation. If your shoes indicate that you overpronate, find a pair with sturdier, more structured midsoles.
Sign #2 – YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR ROUTINE IS GETTING HARDER
You’ve worked up to 10,000 steps per day and feel energized and good. Then you notice, even though nothing major has changed in your diet or daily routines, you’re feeling more beat up after your walk.
This could mean your shoes are worn out. Shoes are meant to provide cushion, support, and guidance. Many experts suggest shoes should be replaced every 300 miles, but that varies depending on the surfaces you walk, your gait, and other factors. Worn-out shoes are like worn-out tires: they still work, but the performance is far from optimal.
Sign #3 – YOUR SHOES FEEL TIGHT OR CRAMPED
Shoe sizes can change as you get older. This can be because arches collapse and ligaments stretch as we age.
If your shoes feel fine at first but then cramp your toes as you walk, that could indicate your shoe is too small to allow your feet to splay correctly. Splay is when your foot is fully extended at one of the last stages of the gait cycle. You need a full splay of your toes to provide a strong platform to push off. If you don’t have that full splay, you’re putting undue stress on your toes and ligaments. Size up.
Sneakers that fit right are a great way to give yourself protection and comfort. Another great way to give yourself comfort and protection is with a free Benefits Review with an ASBA representative. They can help identify gaps in your insurance coverage and recommend policies that can fill those needs.