Walking is the best form of exercise for an individual. It is the healthiest form of exercise to keep body and mind free of disease. One can say it is the gateway to fitness. However, here are certain points to observe to avoid any injuries or joint problems when you take up walking as exercise.
1. Style of walking: Avoid walking with hyperextended knees. It is a very common tendency to walk with hyperextended knees. In this position the knee gets locked and hence muscles get rest. However, hyperextending the knee every time you put your foot on ground can result in abnormal stresses on knee cartilage and later degeneration and pain. So try and consciously keep your knee which touches the ground, slightly bend or straight while you are walking.
2. Warming up and cooling down: Always start with a slow speed and gradually increase the speed. Sudden acceleration and deceleration is not healthy for knees as well as heart.
3. Good surface: If you have a choice, try to have a soft uniform turf for walking like walking trek or grass. It reduces strain on your lower limbs and back.
4. Good footwear: A good walking shoes which are comfortable and well fitting. Initially use Floaters, as it helps activating foot intrinsic muscles.
5. Adequate hydration: drink plenty of fluids while walking to prevent dehydration and electrolyte Imbalance. It prevents muscle cramps.
6. Stretches: Regularly stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles. This is important to prevent injuries to your lower limbs and back.