Amidst all this chaos with COVID-19 and being quarantined, many people are finding it difficult to fit in activity and workouts. Many are taking up walking as their primary mode of exercise or even to just get out of the house. The problem is that many people did not walk this much prior to the quarantine orders so there is some risk in experiencing overuse injury or repetitive stress.
If my body is only used to walking 3,000 steps per day, and all of a sudden I change that to 15,000 steps per day, that is a lot more stress on your tissues that your body is not used to.
Therefore, it is important to discuss progressive overload – or the practice of slowly stressing tissues to become stronger to make the adaptations to increase the tolerance of those tissues to activity. For this, you want to start at your baseline –
- How many steps do you typically take in a day?
- How many minutes do you normally walk, or how far do you typically walk?
Instead of increasing drastically from your baseline, try to increase in small increments.
If you take 3,000 steps per day, the next day go out for 5,000, then 7,000, then continually increase. You can take this same principle and apply it to how long you are walking for time or for distance.
This way your tissues can build tolerance to the increasing stress you are putting on your body rather than sustaining overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy, and shin splints.
There are plenty of exercises that can also prepare your feet, legs, and body for more activity like walking, running, and doing virtual workout classes. Foot health is one of the most neglected aspects of fitness and wellness – there are numerous activities and specific exercises to help take care of your foundation (FEET!)
Look out for our video coming soon on some simple foot exercises.
If you would like more advice about how to specifically use the principles of progressive overload for walking, running, or any other activities let us know and schedule a virtual session with one of our therapists! We also are still open to see patients in person! Stay healthy, stay active, and stay innovative in these crazy times!
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