Walks can get the best of your body—resulting in injury. Most people who are injured due to walking are those who spontaneously go for a hike or a long walk. While injuries can occur right away, there is also the possibility that the injury will not be felt until weeks later.
While you are probably not going to break bones or create stress fractures, it is possible to get shin splints or blisters. These are two of the most common injuries. Shin splints, or pain in your shins, are typically caused by poor footwear and improper walking techniques. Another factor, of course, is the type of terrain that you walk on. By working on a heel-to-toe walking technique and getting proper walking shoes, you can try to overcome them, but if you can’t, ice and ibuprofen will be helpful.
Blisters can form due to improper footwear, but your socks can also cause them. If your socks do not absorb moisture correctly, blisters can form.
You may also feel pain in your calf, your thigh, or your knee after a long hike. This is because the angle at which you walk causes you to grip by placing pressure on your forefoot. This forces your heel to drop low, and there is an increase in pressure on your thigh and knee muscles. Practice will help prevent this from occurring.
As you may have noticed, most of these injuries are caused by improper footwear or walking techniques. Whenever setting out for a walk, be prepared. Know your limits and don’t overdo it—even if you feel great. Most importantly, make sure that you buy the right pair of shoes for your foot. Don’t pick out the shoe based on the pattern! You may have to get a shoe that is a half size bigger than you normally get; this is because your foot tends to swell when hiking or going for an intense walk. In addition to walking techniques and proper footwear, be sure to stretch before and after you exercise. Last, but not least, it is also very important to keep hydrated and eat nutritious food.