Women's Health Walking Workouts
What it feels like: Acute, localised pain in your foot or lower leg. Why it happens: Tenderness or pain in a specific spot on your foot or lower leg might be a stress fracture, which is actually a minuscule crack in a bone. Most common in the lower leg, stress fractures occur when your muscles become overloaded from repetitive stress, which leads to the bone, rather than your muscle, absorbing the shock. The fractures can happen if you ignore the pain of shin splints because the strain may eventually shift to the bone. Take note: women with lower bone density and less muscle may be more vulnerable to this type of injury. Thefix: Put your walking on hold and let the fracture heal for several weeks. “You need to get off your feet to avoid loading the bones,” says Dr Sheila Dugan, a specialist in rehab and sports medicine. Switch to water aerobics, swimming or upper-body weight training. When you start walking again, build up distance slowly and stop before you feel any discomfort. Replace your walking shoes every three to five months to ensure adequate shock absorption. For optimum bone health, do lower-body strength training twice a week and get at least 1 200mg of calcium daily.