Foot care for walkers

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Like the boots in the old song, your feet were made for walkin'. More and more people seem to be taking that advice to heart; some 30 million Americans regularly walk for fitness. Walking is a good overall fitness exercise for the whole body, but it's especially healthy for the feet. Walking improves circulation to the lower body, and healthy feet depend on a steady supply of blood. This is especially important if you have circulatory problems or diabetes. Be sure to do warmup exercises prior to walking. Five minutes of stretching before and after your workout is a wonderfully effective method of conditioning your feet. And be sure that you have the right walking shoes. Look for quality construction first, celebrity endorsements later. The most expensive may not be the best for your feet. Make sure they're comfortable, with plenty of room in the toe box, and avoid shoes that allow your foot to slide forward or your heel to slip up and down. These can cause irritation during an extended walk. Finally, have your feet checked by a specialist prior to starting any exercise program. You're trying to get healthy, not cause health problems.

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