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You Don’t Need the Woods to Hike

You can’t underestimate the power of a good walk. When I was in college, I walked all over the University of Kansas campus. Sometimes it was 30 minutes to my farthest class. Often there were 10-minute hikes between classes with hills or dozens of steps to climb. Then of course the 30-minute jaunt home again. It was no wonder that I was in awesome shape — I was power-walking well over an hour every single day! I was also way ahead of the trend — the urban hike trend as “they” are now calling it.

I always think back to that time when I’m slacking on fitting in gym or home workouts. As long as I’m walking, getting outside in some fashion, walking to run errands, walking fast even when I’m not in a hurry — I figure it’s something. And with how busy life is right now, something sometimes has to be enough.

The best thing about walking is that you can do it anytime and anywhere you have a few spare minutes. Early for after-school pickup? Walk down the street. Kids playing in the park? Walk the perimeter. The important thing is to be prepared for activity whenever that moment strikes, which means that you have to ditch the uncomfortable shoes. Luckily, companies like Vionic are prioritizing foot comfort with built-in orthotics for all-day comfort. That way you can look pulled together (when you manage to get out of your activewear) but still be supported and comfortable enough to get a walk in. The experts say the orthotics support alignment and prevent collapsing arches, which could lead to plantar faciitis. If you know anyone who’s had plantar faciitis, you know that is something you certainly want to avoid. And see how good comfort can look:urbanhike-585


Even if you don’t consider a short urban hike a workout, it is, so Vionic Innovation Lab expert Brian Hoke, Sports Physical Therapy Specialist, recommends giving your feet some TLC. Kick off your shoes, flex your toes back and forth and give your heels a mini-massage. Roll your ankles around, do a calf stretch to minimize any muscle cramping and shortening, thereby relieving lower body and foot pain.

Do you try to fit in extra steps around your daily life? I know those with Fitbits are always trying to do that… —Erin

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