Walking Your Dog: Good For You and Your Pet

What could be better than enjoying the cool autumn breeze, admiring the changing leaves, and spending some time with your beloved dog? If this sounds pleasant to you, then you might want to celebrate National Walk Your Dog Week from October 1st to October 7th! Walking has many health benefits, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Stress relief
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Improved circulation
  • Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar

Walking is a gentle way to exercise the legs, feet, and ankles, but improper footwear, stretching, or gait (the way you walk) can result in blisters, calluses, or plantar fasciitis. Here are some suggestions to consider if you want to start incorporating walking into your daily routine (with or without your pooch):

  • If you overpronate (roll your ankle inward), consider purchasing shoes with mid-foot support, less cushioning, and a rigid heel.
  • If you underpronate (place too much pressure on the outside of the foot), consider purchasing shoes with extra cushioning, support, and shock absorption.
  • The walking motion requires flexibility in the heel, arch, and toes, so perform some basic foot and toe stretches to make it easier to walk for longer distances on different terrain.
  • Choose footwear that is light and breathable to make the walking motion feel more natural and also to reduce the risk of obtaining a fungal infection like athlete’s foot.

As many of us know, the weather in Central New York can plunge on any given day and stay that way for many months. So, it is important to take advantage of the strong sun and lack of snow while we can! Board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, who is an avid dog lover himself, knows how important walking is to our feet and our overall health. At Syracuse Podiatry’s Fayetteville office, he can help you choose the right athletic footwear, or treat other underlying conditions impeding your ability to walk. Contact us or call us at (315) 446-3668 for questions or appointments!

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