10,000 Steps a Day - Walking Shoe Footwear
by Lorra Kristene Garrick -
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
To reach the step quota, many pedometer
devotees walk as much as possible wherever theyre at; whatever they have
on their feet.
"Those who walk 5,000 to 8,000 steps (a
day) in inappropriate walking shoes are doing more damage than good," says Dr.
Ritchard Rosen, a podiatrist in Englewood, New Jersey, and chief of podiatric
surgery, Holyname Hospital, Teaneck, New Jersey.
"When ambulating, a patient will have a
certain degree of pronation (inward rolling of the foot) and stretch of the
plantar fascia," a band of ligament-like tissue that connects the heel to the
ball of the foot.
"If, however, the patient has a high arched
or flat foot, sandals will not afford any longitudinal arch support, and a
potential stress to the fascia, known as plantar fasciitis, will occur." A
classic sign of this is heel pain upon awakening in the morning, or from
"High-heeled shoes will cause potentially
many problems if worn for any prolonged walking," says Dr. Rosen. "High-heeled
shoes will cause shortening of the Achilles tendon and increase the stress to
the ball of the foot. Abnormal forces to the ball may cause bursitis, synovitis
(inflammation of joint fluid) and possible nerve irritation."
Even lower-heeled dress shoes, including
mens professional footwear, can lead to arch strain, tendonitis and
plantar fasciitis, says Dr. Rosen.
Obviously, one should never perform any of
the dynamic steps described earlier unless wearing well-designed walking
"I see a definite trend toward shoes that
are both beautiful and merciful," says Dr. Stephanie Clements,
podiatrist/orthopedist from Denver, Colorado. "Pumps that have a strategic mix
of solid support and forefoot cushioning, mules featuring a sleek synthetic
sole that's convexly curved just enough to allow the foot to roll forward
instead of just slapping down. Leather uppers are often combined with fabric to
be kind to bunions."
Dr. Rosen recommends that high heels be no
more than 1.5 to 2 inches. For sandals: "Think of custom-made sandals with arch
supports incorporated into the body of the sandal. Many podiatrists can
fabricate these sandals."
Last but not least, take a pair of walking
shoes with you to work so you can wear them for extended periods of
10,000 Steps a Day: Adding Some
Excitement to Your Walking Program Okay, so you average 10,000 steps a
day, as measured by your
pedometer. Or maybe its 7,000. Point is, you are
striving to hit a certain number of steps. You seek out every opportunity to
walk. This means during TV commercials (thats 1,000 steps right there!),
having your newspaper delivered at the end of the driveway, and walking the
long corridors at work rather than using email.
But has this lost its excitement lately?
Are you not getting the results you expected? Its time to add some
- Trade walking up stairs for running up
stairs, or climb them two at a time.
- During commercials, skip to each room,
and hop over anything thats on the floor, such as toys, clothes, a
briefcase, a small stool, etc.
- If youre outdoors approaching a
curb, leap to it from several feet away.
- If there are puddles, dont walk
around them; jump over them.
- Kangaroo-hop to the mailbox or to
retrieve the newspaper.
- Shadow box while walking down the halls
at work (but put your fists down if you see your boss heading your way).
- Jump-rope across parking lots; merely
walking them is just too easy.
- Wear ankle weights around the house.
- Walk backwards and sideways, push a
weighted wheelbarrow, prance across a bed of rocks.
The author, Lorra Kristene Garrick, is a
freelance writer and personal trainer.
Click here for a great
Pedometers for walking