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Walking for Fitness

We often have a question as to how much we should be walking in a day . Most of us, don't track our walks. Nowadays, with the advent of smartphone apps, keeping track of walking is easy. Some apps not only notify you of your distance walked but also your stride, posture , calories burned and stairs climbed. These apps make our jobs simpler.

A general rule of thumb dictates walking at a certain pace for at least 10,000 steps a day keeps you in track with your daily requirements. The parameters that govern the steps are of paramount importance as not only walking but proper walking is essential.

We should remember not to over exert ourselves too much as this may put undue duress to our joints and muscles which in the long run negates the advantages entirely.

Each of us have a certain height and thus our strides differ and so do our calories burned with each step we take. Take care of your joints while walking as a wrong posture or wrong stride may wreak havoc on your knee joints primarily.

One essential thing to mention is the paramount importance of your footgear while waking. The foot is the one bearing the brunt and so must be well cushioned and protected. Opt for light walking shoes and try to get a practice walk before beginning with your daily routine to get accustomed to your new gear.

The one question we get from our patients is treadmill or road. Each has its own benefits but nothing can beat your motivation to carry on with it. If you are too heavy (BMI>30), it's better to ditch the treadmill and go for plain surfaces as your knee may wear out faster on treadmills. Also, properly calibrate your walks . Start with simple strides and then jog rather than running away to start.

Remember, aim for something that doesn't exert you too much. You need just the right steps for the right duration rather than lousy commercials or fake health advices.

As a general rule try to avoid putting pressure on your ankles and soles while walking. A step count of 7000-10000 for a cumulative span of 30-60 minutes daily will aid nearly all.

For any queries, feel free to ask me.

Happy healthy walking.....

Dr Abhijnan Ghosh

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