My best friend and greatest supporter

My best friend and greatest supporter
I LOVE this man!!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some practical walking advice

Okay, so we're all out there walking our butts off (you are walking and training - right?).  Hopefully, you're breaking in multiple pairs of shoes by now, you have the right socks, and the right inserts for your shoes.  You have probably built up some caluses, and you know where your hot spots are so blisters are being managed.  But wait - it's starting to get warmer which creates a new set of issues.  Here are a few pieces of practical advice that may help you.

  1. If you are going to walk more that 10 miles, bring an extra pair of clean, dry socks with you.  Your feet will perspire more in the heat and wet feet mean BLISTERS.  An extra pair of dry socks is, in my humble opinion, one of the best blister prevention methods out there.  If your feet perspire a lot, bring 2 pair, and change them out as needed.  The best blister care is to prevent them! 
  2. Buy socks made out of a wicking material.  The wicking material keeps the moisture away from your skin so your feet will stay dry.  However, there is only so much the wicking material can do, so you will still need to change your socks when the material becomes saturated.
  3. Your feet swell more in the heat, so if you are getting more hot spots than usual, you may need to go up a half size on your shoes.
  4. Make sure you stay hydrated!  It's not just your feet that perspire more in the heat, so you need to be diligent about drinking plenty of water.  I am personally not big on sports drinks because I don't like the taste of them.  However, I realize that I need the electrolytes.  There are a few alternatives to sports drinks that will do the trick.  I drink Smart Water, and I also add Propel powder to my water.  The Propel comes in a variety of flavors.  I stick several packets in my fanny pack so if I'm feeling the effects of the heat, I can throw some in my water to get the electrolytes I need.  Remember that it is important to drink before you are thirsty!!!!
  5. As the temperature rises we wear less clothing which exposes more skin to the elements.  Don't forget to wear sunscreen and reapply it as needed.  I love the spray sunscreens that don't have to be rubbed in.  I stick a small can in my fanny pack and reapply every couple of hours.  Some of you won't use the spray on sunscreen because it turns white material yellow.  Never fear, I have a solution.  Just before you throw the clothing in the washer, rub some Suave (the really cheap stuff and yes, it has to be Suave because I've tried other shampoos and it doesn't work) over the yellow stains, and the yellow will disappear.
  6. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your face.  I have very sensitive skin and have many allergies, but Neutrogena makes an entire line of sunscreens just for the face that includes a product for sensitive skin.  While I'm on the subject of sunscreen, don't forget your ears.  I recently sunburned my ears, and trust me it was not fun!  Besides, peeling ears is not a good look - HAHA!
  7. Don't forget your sunglasses!  I just read an article about cataracts and according to the article they are seeing them in younger patients and especially among long distance walkers and runners.  Most of us (myself included) wear ball caps to keep the sun out of our eyes, but we need to protect our eyes as much as our skin.  Therefore, take the necessary precautions and wear sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection.
  8. If you are like me and you have dark hair that turns funky shades of red in the sun, or you have processed hair you will need to protect it as well.  The sun does more than just bleach your hair though; it damages it as well.  The combination of sun and persiration can dry your hair out making it dull and frizzy. At the very least you should switch to a hydrating conditioner, but that won't help the bleaching effects of the sun.  No, I am not suggesting that you put icky greasy sunscreen in your hair!  However, there are product lines that offer sunscreen in their shampoo and conditioners.  The one that I use in the summer is Redken.  They make an entire line of sunscreen for your hair products.  They only sell it in the summer, but it came back out a few weeks ago.  Personally, I only need the shampoo and conditioner, but they do have a couple of different spray options as well.
I hope this advice helps all of my walking buddies overcome some of the challenges we face as the weather gets warmer.

Happy walking!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips! I am horrible about remembering suscreen-- especially when I walk in the morning before it gets obscenely hot out. And I always end up paying for it.

    Sunglasses, however, I don't ever forget. If I don't wear them, I just can't see, and that would be a very, very bad thing for even a short walk.