Try Walking


Byline: Dr. Jose S. Pujalte Jr.

"From exertion come wisdom and purity from sloth ignorance and sensuality."

a" Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862),

US philosopher,

Walden (1854)

WHILE there is still that nip in the morning air, why not start a walking program in a modest quest for fitness? Itas time to, as they say, walk the talk a" that is if you made a 2006 resolution to finally, finally lose the excess baggage. Fat is that paunch, that double chin, those massive thighs, and that sagging butt. Fat is what makes you heavy, angry, and frustrated. Fat is what you can have less of. And walking can help trim off the fat.

Before Getting Out. We should start with the proper shoes. The wrong pair will make you want to sit down and spare your feet from the load. The good pair will want you to get going. Shoes will make the difference between a walk in the park and a Death March. What makes an ideal walking shoe? Look for these features:

1. A smooth sole (compared to a running shoe)

2. A flexible forefoot

3. A high toe box (to keep toes uncrunched)

4. A firm heel counter (for stability)

5. A A3/4 to A1/2 inch heel.

Most of all, the shoe must fit and feel comfortable. Shop for your walking shoes in the late afternoon when your feet is at their swollen biggest. Sometimes one of your feet may be larger than the other one. In that case, buy the bigger sized pair.

Practice safe socks. This means no cotton socks for walking because once your feet sweat they will remain damp. So hello athleteas foot, hello blisters, hello chafing. The best walking socks are made of acrylic and other synthetics. These socks wonat stay as wet because they dry easily.

Do These. Stretch before walking. To be safe, stretches should be done slowly and smoothly. Jerky, vigorous movements a la Nazi mass calisthenics do nothing but injure. The basic moves are:

* Hamstring stretch

Lean against a wall and extend the left leg forward with the heel up. Bend the right knee slowly and feel the stretch on the back of the thighs. Hold 30 seconds and repeat for the right.

* Calf stretch

Bend the right knee with the heel flat on the ground. Feel the stretch on the lower leg and hold for 30 seconds. Do the same for the left.

* Quadriceps stretch

Stand near wall to keep your balance steady. Now grab your right foot from the back. This action bends the right knee acutely and you must feel a stretch in front of your right thigh. …

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