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Step Into Summer Safely


This month you’ll probably start spending a lot more time outside, moving around. Make sure you’re stepping into summer safely! Here are 10 tips for reducing injuries while walking:

Wear proper footwear. Knee pain and back pain are often caused by improper footwear. Take the time to find shoes that fit properly for you, and replace old shoes that have lost their cushion.

Begin with a warm-up that gets blood flowing to the muscles. Try some high knees, body weight squats, or kick-backs.

Practice balancing. Try standing 30 seconds on one foot, then 30 seconds on the other. Having a good sense of balance will help you catch yourself should you trip or misstep on those uneven surfaces.

Stand tall. Hunching over or leaning while walking can make it more difficult to breathe and can cause back aches, hip pain, and knee pain.

Look up. Looking down at your feet can cause neck pain and put unnecessary strain on your upper back.

Keep your toes pointed forward when you step. Toes that turn in or out when walking put extra strain on knees and hips and can lead to injury.

Try brisk walking intervals with rest periods of slower walking to recover your breath and relax muscles. This technique improves cardiovascular strength while reducing injury risk.

Be safe. Walk with a buddy and choose a place to walk that is safe and well-lit, if walking at night. Walk on sidewalks or paths, not in the road.

Stay hydrated! Dehydration can cause a sluggish feeling in the muscles and leave you feeling tired. Drink up for great energy and healthy muscles.

Stretch after your walk, not before. Pulling at cold muscles tends to make them tighter whereas stretching after exercise helps bring the muscles used during your walk back to neutral.