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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

Geared Up for a Half Marathon - and Forgot the Sunscreen

Saturday April 19, 2014

Wendy with Easter Bunny at Hop Hop Half MarathonSomething was nagging me as I drove to the local Hop Hop Half Marathon. I felt pretty good about preparing all of my gear the night before and being ready for race day. I was excited to wear all of my bright, bold and sparkly race gear for this fun Easter-themed half marathon. Last year it was a very sunny (but cold) day on the bike path alongside the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. This year the weather was a little warmer but overcast, with rain coming by afternoon.

As it turned out, I remembered the sunglasses but forgot to put on sunscreen. In fact, I forgot to put on my usual moisturizer that has SPF 25. I resorted to a tube in my car that outdated a year ago. Lesson learned - put fresh sunscreen in my car!
More: How to Train for a Half Marathon Walk

Everyone wears fun clothes and gear for this race, so here I am from head to toe, linked to my reviews.:

  • Bunny ears - I got these at the same race last year and they actually stay on my head and don't give me a headache. Maybe I'm more hare than tortoise?
  • RunPhones earband headphones.
  • My favorite discontinued cold-weather earwarming hat.
  • Marmot ultra lightweight waterproof jacket.
  • Not shown - cheap plastic rain poncho, which came into use when we had sideways rain after the first two hours on the course.
  • Urban Running Girl running shrug (since my shirt was short-sleeved)
  • Short-sleeved tech shirt from last year's Hop Hop Half Marathon
  • hipS-sister to carry my camera, snack, etc. Mine has 13.1 on it in rhinestones.
  • Sparkle Athletic pull-on sequined skirt
  • B-Skinz leggings (review sample provided by manufacturer)
  • Balega socks
  • Brooks Glycerin neutral cushioned shoes
  • Nike+ FuelBand SE
  • Fitbit One (review sample provided by manufacturer)
  • Milestone Pod (review sample provided by manufacturer)

Results - the leggings worked well even in the rainstorm, so I'm very pleased with that. I posted a good half marathon time, my first complete half marathon at race pace for 2014. I'm happy with all of my bling gear! And I burned off some of the Easter basket treats.
Easter Calorie Calculator: See how far you will need to walk to walk them off!

Photo Wendy Bumgardner

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

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