With the warm weather, comes the opportunity to spend a lot of time walking outdoors. We are especially lucky in Vancouver because we can enjoy the beautiful Seawall!

Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay fit.  It’s great exercise because you can walk at whatever pace you choose, at whatever difficulty you choose – whether it be on flat ground, inclines, or even hiking out in the woods.

Here are a list of tips to help you get the most out of your walking this year:

  1. Walking is obviously a very healthy and recommended activity, but if you have any injuries or concerns, it is important to check in with your doctor or physiotherapist first to get the green light.
  1. Invest in good quality shoes that fit properly and have great support. This cannot be emphasized enough. Also, wear socks that will keep your feet snug in your shoes, but not too tight. You don’t want to end up with calluses or blisters than can end up putting a halt on your walking program. Whatever you do, don’t wear flip flops or fashionable sandals for long distances.
  1. Bring water with you to ensure you stay well-hydrated. You may also want to buy some electrolyte replacement tablets at your drugstore or sports store, especially for hot weather.
  1. Be sure to use sunscreen and wear a hat.
  1. If you are looking to burn extra calories and lose weight, try power walking – walking at a faster pace while swinging your arms. Before you speed up, start by walking at a slower pace for about five minutes to warm up.
  1. If you would not be able to carry on a conversation while you are walking, slow down. Your heart rate should be elevated, but you want to be careful not to overdo it.
  1. Practice proper posture – keep your head up, back straight, and abdomen flat. Your toes should be pointing straight ahead as you walk.  Longer strides are better than shorter steps.
  1. Track your steps, mileage, and calories burned. “Map My Walk” is an awesome app for this that you can download on your smartphone. It will help keep you motivated to keep going and achieve your walking goals. You can also use a pedometer.
  1. If you are walking alone, listen to music, a podcast, or an audiobook to keep your energy up.

If you get any type of injury from walking, be sure to see your doctor or call us if you need a physiotherapist in Vancouver rather than ignoring it.  It’s important to seek attention for anything that doesn’t feel right asap.