National Geographic : 2002 Jul
Simple slrtlches to get vou started The best time to stretch is after five to 10 minutes of moderate walking and at the end of your walk. These three moves target the calf and the front of the hip. 1turtch I. Stand with your hands against a wall. Slide your right leg back two or three feet and lean forward onto your left leg, knee bent. To stretch the right calf, straighten the right leg, press the heel downward, and let the hip come forward. Hold for 30 seconds. St retch #2. Hold the position from Stretch #1 and bend your right S knee just past the point at which you begin to feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Keep your heel pressing downward as your knee bends. ii tr tc:h # . Next, release your hands, place them on your hips, and onsult lift your torso to upright. If you have trouble balancing, turn side your doctor bfore ways to the bench or wall and hold on. Come up on the toes of beginning your right foot, bend both knees slightly, and slowly tilt your pelvis ny exercise by gently scooping your buttocks under and tightening your lower program. abdominal muscles until you feel a stretch at the front of your right hip. The more you tilt, the more you'll stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat all three stretches with the other leg. \Walkinig can help you ma I agc arthritis pain Walking is great exercise for people with arthritis. Here are some tips for pain-free walking: ) Walk regularly,three tofive times a week, for 20 to 30 minutes-all at once or in several shorter sessions. ) Time workouts for when you feel best. Your body will tell you ifyou're energized in the morning or less stiff in the afternoon. ) Walk at your own pace. Everyone has a walking speed that suits him or her best, so find one that's comfortable for you. Maintain muscle strCl gth w ith w walking Exercise protects joints by strengthening the muscles around them, and strong muscles keep your joints from rubbing against one another, wearing down cartilage. Walking is an 4 especially good exercise if you have arthritis: It's an aerobic exercise, which means it strengthens your heart, helps your lungs work more efficiently, and gives you more stamina so you don't tire as easily. As a weight-bearing exercise (one that puts full weight on your bones), walking helps strengthen bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). For people with arthritis, muscle and joint benefits are important because joints become stiffer and muscles weaken with inactivity. As walking strengthens the muscles and tissues surrounding the joints, it helps to better protect those joints and keep them ready for daily activities. Walking made easier-shoes for the road To get the most out of your workouts, you need a shoe that's specially designed for walking. Your shoes should have flexible and nonsticky soles that absorb shock well, with good arch supports, cushioned insoles, and roomy toe boxes. And make sure that your walking shoes fit correctly: If your socks wear through in the toes, your shoes are either too short or your foot is sliding forward with each step. It's a good idea to wear your walking socks when you go to purchase your shoes to help you get a better fit. ) Tip: You can reduce your risk of injury by replacingyour walking shoes every 330 to 600 miles.