Walk This Way

Imagine a fresh rain, fallen leaves crunching under your feet, and the sweet smell of Northwest dew.  After a hot summer, there is no better feeling than going for a walk in the beautiful autumn environment.  It might sound silly, but being prepared for a walk can ultimately make your experience better, and certainly safer. Here are a few tips for walking in the fall and winter months.

Before you head out, check the weather. A few welcoming drops won’t ruin your walk, but a torrential downpour can certainly dampen your mood. Wear appropriate footwear.  Investing a little more in a solid pair of athletic shoes is advisable.  More comfortable, sturdier shoes with a good tread will keep you upright and moving forward!  If you plan on walking in the early morning or at night, wearing reflective clothing to create a presence on the roadside.  

It is always safer when you have a walking buddy. Safety is of the utmost importance, so bring along someone else to enjoy the journey.  The odds of being targeted as a victim diminish greatly when there are two people around and if you fall, someone will be there you help you. Not to mention, they can keep you company with a good conversation.   

If you don’t have anyone to walk with don’t worry, just be safe and pick a good time of day and route.  Some of the best thinking can be done during a good walk.  According to a study by the University of Stanford, walking can increase your overall creativity.

And finally, lets jog the memory on exactly how to walk again.  It may seem odd but perfecting the actual mechanics of your walk is also important.  Focus on your even strides, tightened stomach, and upright posture. Use you arms to propel yourself, but not too exaggerated. If you are walking strenuously, try to keep your head from bobbing and shift your weight through your hips rather than your entire upper-body.  Once you master that wiggle, you might be ready for race walking.

Walking is an easy activity with great physical benefits, an activity you can do without any other fitness training (obviously). In 2012, CDC noted that more than 145 million American adults include walking in their fitness regimen. Former president of American College of Sports Medicine, Dr. Stephen Blair, says that doing roughly 30 minutes of activity per day can yield up to 50% reduction in mortality, according to the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study.  Plain and simple, walking is good.

Published on October 2, 2018.