Check Your Sneaks

I know better, I really do. A good friend talked me into joining a walk-to-run program set up for women over 50 (yes, that's me alright!) Goal for all of us:  to walk or run a 5 K in December.  I'm already a dedicated walker.  Walks with Toby, our yellow lab, are a twice a day routine for me, and I love to take faster walks whenever I can.

We started our walk-to-run effort with over 300 other women. That in itself was so amazing to see as we all wore our red "Team Playmakers" fitness shirts. Every person found a group to fit in.  One had women who were just coming off the sofa and were just starting to walk.  Another was filled with gals who were already runners. Those in our group could already walk 3 miles.  The first 2 weeks plan for us was to walk 4 1/2 minutes and jog 1/2 minute, repeating until we covered a 3 mile route.  Very manageable, since my cardiovascular system is pretty strong already.

The trouble started on week 3.  Our task was to walk for 4 minutes and then jog for 1 minute.  I was having no trouble keeping up with pace and my friend and I were having a great time engaged in fun conversation. But then, ouch.  The inside of my knees started to hurt. By the end of those 3 miles, I knew there would be ice and ibuprofen in my future.

I knew exactly what I had done:  I had not replaced my running shoes since February.  I can always tell when I need new shoes when I feel a little twinge in my hips.  When I get new shoes,  everything is great again. For me, this means I need new sneakers every 6 months or so.  They may look fine, and I may really not want to spend the money,  but it's critical to do it anyway. This is a very important part of health and wellness.

That night, I stopped at our local running shoe store on the way home.  The was a great guy working  there who took the time to listen to me, ask questions and examine the running shoes I came in with.  No uneven wear, but they could be easily twisted in either direction.  The stability of that shoe was pretty much shot.  I was probably turning inward on them as I walked, which aggravated my knees.  He helped me pick out the shoes that would be good for my feet and the type of exercise I did. Then I went right home to lay on the sofa with my knees elevated on a pillow and a couple of frozen ice packs on top to calm the swelling.  Ahhh...

I knew better. I know better. Wearing the right sneakers and replacing them as they wear down is an absolute must.  It's far less expensive than paying for visits to the doctor or surgery to correct a problem that may develop.  It's an investment in health and wellness and our knees will thank us for it.

If you have a good fitness shoe store near you, stop in and talk to them.  An expert who will listen to you, want to know the type of exercise you do, who will take the time to evaluate your feet and recommend shoes for you is priceless. Then, don't leave home without them!

As for me, my knees are healing up and feeling much better as I wear these new shoes.

To your health!