Walking is better than running
January 21st 2008, 16:55 | Lynne Mctaggart
Running is undoubtedly hard on your lower limbs. A year-long Australian study found that distance-running injuries were the second most common sports injury seen at a sports clinic. (Clin J Sport Med, 1997; 7: 8-31).
Runners commonly suffer from overuse injuries of the lower limbs, including stress fractures, and soft-tissue injuries such as shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, knee pain and other problems, ranging from simple inflammation to structural degeneration (Scand J Med Sci Sports, 1996; 6: 222-7).
The best preventative for such injury is to slow down, cut down the duration, add stretching and/or warm-ups and cool-downs to your routine, and change or improve your running shoes (Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2001, 3: CD001256).
But even walkers have to walk with care, so here are a few useful tips:
- Walk with your abdominal muscles tightened, and roll back your shoulders, lift your chest, keep your head up and your arms in a rhythmic swing
- Push off from the toes and land squarely on your heels with each step, then roll from heel to toe
- Make each stride a comfortable length
- Wear good-quality, well-fitting walking shoes and replace them regularly.