Page 5 - walk_for_better_health_book

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Finding Footwear
A successful walk starts with your feet. Shoes protect and cushion
your feet while you walk, so choose your footwear wisely.
Shop for new shoes later in the day when your feet have had
a chance to swell slightly and always try them on with
athletic socks.
Shoes should be made of
leather or a breathable
Be sure the shoe fits well. A
shoe that is too small or too
large can cause blisters and
When you sweat, your body loses some if its precious water. When
you don’t drink enough water you may get a headache, muscle
cramps and heat-related illnesses. Be sure to have access to water
throughout your walk, no matter the season.
Most sports drinks are high in sugar, calories and cost. Reusable
water bottles save money and are better for the environment.
Dress for Success and Safety
Wear clothing that is comfortable and made of breathable fabric. Once
your body starts moving, you will warm up so dress accordingly. When
walking outdoors, dress to be seen by wearing light colored clothing or
reflectors. Remember to carry ID and be aware of your surroundings. It’s
also a good idea to carry a cell phone in case of an emergency.
Walking Year ‘Round
Too warm or too cold outside? Remember–the weather is always
perfect at the local shopping mall. See page 26 of this book for
information about walking at area malls.
The following tips will keep you walking in all seasons.
Winter –
Dress in layers to keep your body warm and dry. Don’t
forget to protect your hands, feet and head from the elements.
Wear shoes or boots with good grips. Be cautious of snow and
ice and walk at a slower pace to help prevent falls. Remember, if
the weather looks too challenging you can always walk indoors
at a local mall, or check out a neighborhood school or
recreation center for open walking hours.
Spring –
Start out slow if you haven’t done much walking all
winter. Dress in layers and be prepared for spring showers – a
brimmed hat or umbrella may come in handy.
Summer –
Stay hydrated and don’t forget to protect yourself
from the sun by wearing a hat and sunscreen with at least
SPF 15. Consider adjusting your walking time to the early
morning or evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. To
protect against heat-related illness, drink plenty of water and
take regular breaks, preferably in the shade.
Fall –
Even when the air is crisp, you’ll warm up quickly once
you start walking, so continue to dress in layers. Remember
that the days are shorter so you may need to adjust your
walking schedule to avoid darkness. A flashlight may come
in handy.