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10 Ways to Walk Away Stress

Three walkers

Happy (?) Stress Awareness Month. The good news? Walking can help relieve your stress, here's how.

Walking Spotlight10

Easter Basket Calorie Calculator

Thursday April 17, 2014

Easter BasketThose Peeps and jellybeans equal a lot of miles. Use the Easter Basket Calorie Calculator to total your Easter Basket calories and to convert those to steps, miles, and kilometers. Add as many items as you wish to your virtual Easter basket and see how far you must walk to walk off the chocolate bunnies and Cadbury eggs.

Photo: Wendy Bumgardner (and, sadly, I ate everything in the photo before Easter...)

Got Foot Pain?

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Foot Pain"I'd like to walk, but my feet hurt," is one of the most common things I hear when I tell people about my walking life. April is Foot Health Month. Foot pain comes in several varieties.

Heel pain and pain in the bottom of the foot are very common for both fitness walkers and the general public. Plantar fasciitis is pain in the bottom of your foot caused by inflammation of the fascia that runs from the ball of your foot to the heel. Some causes are overuse while wearing old shoes, overpronation, or overstriding. I once developed it immediately after slipping in mud on a walk through the tulip fields. Plantar fasciitis treatments include rest, icing, self-massage, stretches or wearing a night splint.

Heel spurs are related to plantar fasciitis and can develop in people who have a long bout of plantar fasciitis. It is something seen on x-ray but the pain itself is thought to come from the plantar fasciitis.

My chief form of foot pain comes from the bunion on my left foot. I am very choosy about my footwear, it can't irritate my bunion or I'd be in for weeks of foot pain. Shoes with a too-narrow toe box irritate my bunion. But I've also discovery that socks that fit too snugly can also be the culprit.

I also have flat feet, which aren't a problem unless a shoe has built-in arch support that is too high. But others with flat feet have pain and need help. Our Foot Health Expert has 5 things you can do for flat feet.

I was trying to wear a new shoe model that didn't irritate my bunion, but it had motion control elements that ended up giving me heel pain and knee pain. I'll be off on a new shoe shopping expedition soon.

Photo Stockbyte / Getty Images

Stressing About Walking?

Saturday April 12, 2014

walkingApril is Stress Awareness Month. Taxes, allergy season, wondering what will become of your teen when she graduates this summer. There are oodles of things to stress about. Walking is often recommended as a stress-relieving activity. Get up, move, clear your mind. But I come from a family of worriers and I know how to turn even walking into something to worry about.

10 Stress-Causing Worries for Walkers: How many of these do you stress about?

More: Stress and Your Health

Photo Wendy Bumgardner

Time for Walking Sandals!

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Cobb Hill Rev-Soothe SandalsIs it time to give your tootsies some air? Many walkers like walking in sandals, and here are my tips on finding the right sandals for walking and hiking. Just as with your fitness walking shoes, you need to find sandals that fit right and give you the level of support and motion control you need. Flimsy sandals or ones that don't bend in the right places are just as bad for your feet as improper walking shoes.
Top Picks for Walking Sandals

I just bought a pair of Cobb Hill RevSoothe sandals (pictured), which have technology provided by New Balance athletic shoes. My feet said "Ahhhhhhhhh" from the moment I put them on, with lightweight cushioning yet good support for walking. Plus, each strap is adjustable and they don't rub me raw. I enjoy wearing sandals that look good at work and while traveling and yet still allow me to get in brisk walking workouts.
Compare Prices

I am not a fan of flip flops, particularly designs that don't have a heel strap. But I know many of you live in flip flops. Do your feet a favor and look for ones that provide enough structure and support for good walking.
Healthier Flip Flops - Tips and Picks

Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber

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