Walk Talk Series
Day 16 – Socks and Social Sabotage
Today we are going to continue our talk about walking gear.
Our focus today is all about socks
The right socks can make a difference. Cotton socks retain sweat, which softens the skin and makes it easier to blister. Modern synthetics such as polypropylene or CoolMax are a better choice. Sweat, pressure points, and shearing forces can lead to blisters.
Your socks are your first line of defense against these enemies. They must fit correctly so they don’t bunch up and lead to pressure and shearing forces. They must wick sweat away from your skin. Forget cotton socks. Forget tube socks. Invest in wicking, anatomically designed walking socks and your feet will thank you.
Luckily, you can find such socks designed for walking, jogging, and light hiking from several manufacturers.
Say no to cotton. Look for a sock in wicking fabrics such as CoolMax, Dri-Fit, Sorbtek and many others coming on the market. Smartwool uses wool for its moisture management system. The wicking fabrics are the key to preventing blisters.
Thickness and Padding
Socks designed for walking will have light padding in key areas – heel, ball of foot, toes and in some cases the instep. Some socks forgo the padding. My feet do best with a medium-thickness sock, but tend to blister with a single-layer non-padded thin sock.
Double Layer Socks
Double-layer socks prevent blisters by providing wicking and decreasing friction, as the sock layers move against each other rather than your foot moving against the sock. Some find them the key to blister prevention, although I have done best with a single-layer sock. WrightSock is a leader in this type of socks.
To keep the sock in place and prevent bunching, it needs to be shaped like your foot. Many designs have elastic or ribbing to keep them snug. Men and women’s feet differ in shape, so a gender-specific sock is wise. For those of us with bunions, you may find your sock is the culprit for irritation rather than the shoe and need to shop for a sock that doesn’t bunch your toes together.
- 25-45 minute walk at a comfortable pace, concentrating on your walking form.
- Warm up with 5 minutes at a very easy pace
- Stretching 5 minutes
- Now resume your walk at a comfortable pace
- Good posture
- Use your arms
- Strike with your heel and roll through each step, pushing off with your toe
- Stride is longer in back than in front
- End with 5 minutes of gentle stretching
Do you ab exercises today.
“Walking is good for solving problems – it’s like the feet are little psychiatrists.”
~ Pepper Giardino
Nutrition: Social Sabotage
You are out with friends for a meal or snack. You want to eat healthy, but your friends aren’t watching their diets. They may even tease or tempt you with their high calorie/high fat choices. Here is where you need to be brave and assertive, and ask for their help in keeping you on track. “Thanks, that looks good, but not now. I am doing well on my new eating plan and I would appreciate your support to stick with it.”
Somebody may be determined to try to be a roadblock along your weight loss journey. Be prepared for the frustrating interference of loved ones who don’t approve of or understand your desire to lose weight. Most of us will at some point have someone in our lives who will knowingly — or completely unwittingly — try to sabotage our weight loss efforts. Usually these types of people have ulterior motives for their desire to keep you overweight. Often it boils down to plain old-fashioned insecurity.
If you encounter this situation, you’ll probably find yourself grasping for the reasons why. Perhaps friends who also have a weight problem think you may “leave them behind” if you lose your excess pounds. For example, your girlfriend may think your new lifestyle will put an end to your regular weekend visits to each stop in the food court together. Tell her you will enjoy your trip to the mall together, but you want to spend it window shopping instead. Changing your lifestyle doesn’t mean losing your time together… just spend it burning calories instead of racking them up!
Anyone who truly loves you will want what’s best for you. Once you’ve reached an unhealthy weight and you finally feel ready to change, losing those excess pounds safely and steadily should become priority number one for everyone involved. Eventually most of the people on the sidelines will see that what you’re doing is a good thing… even if it does throw your social life or “normal” some family activities a curve ball. Do your best to get those around you to trade in their old habits for healthier ones with you so you can still be together (And everyone else will benefit from those healthier habits, too!).
But some folks may never come around. They may never accept that you are leaving a defective lifestyle behind for a better future. And you probably won’t understand the reason why they won’t accept it, no matter how many times you try to talk it out. Losing weight is hard enough in and of itself; you don’t need anyone in your life making it even more difficult. If someone like this is hampering your weight loss success, you simply must decide to you put your own well-being as first priority. As difficult as it may be, you may find your only choice is to distance yourself from this person for the time being.
After all, we all need a little help now and again. We especially need the help and support of those around us when we are making a significant lifestyle change. When you become truly committed to your weight loss journey, it’s perfectly reasonable — and necessary — to ask your loved ones to become committed with you.