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Themes:     Sport & Health (17)  
Tags:    Dolomites     Movement     Nature
Marco Thursday, 29 May 2014

The art of walking

Many of us, or should I even say many many of us, set out each day to admire the mountains and enjoy their charm and fascination – it can at times be a deep and enriching experience. The mountians have many positive effects upon us and produce a sense of wellbeing, both for the body and the mind. In our pursuance of mountain experience we take many routes, both up and downhill, and even occasionally on flatter paths of varying distances. 
Prior to setting off in whatever direction it would be be prudent on our part however to reflect a little on a point of fundamental concern, and that is our own physical condition and form.
The art of walking
“We set off in all directions but often we don’t think enough about how to take care of our physical wellbeing.”
Our sporting condition, in terms of resistance to effort and cardoiovascular preparation is of course important but the very activity of walking should in great part take care of these aspects. 
My various pieces of advice as expressed in these articles has another objective, and that is to consider the requirements of our very own physical structure and all it is required to perform to assist us in our mountain walks – to support and to propel so that we are able to enjoy all and to return home in decent shape!  The focus of my attention therefore will be the knee, the back, our feet and our muscles – in fact all those body parts which every year are subject to various complaints and much anguish – many of which could really be avoided and many curable for ever!
We are all victims – without exception!
Let’s start from bottom up and begin by looking at our feet – surely deserving of special attention. 
The shoes or boots which we step in to are the secret of our success but can equally lead to disaster!
Footwear in the mountains needs to be comfortable but also needs to hold and support the foot well so it does not move freely and rub and result in blisters. Good lacing is important too, especially for downhill stretches, where too free a movement of the foot can cause complications. Many of us respect these fundamental considerations but what we do not do is to check the innersole. Good mountain footwear is by defintion quite tough and rigid, so enabling us to tackle all types of terrain without getting wet and providing a sound footing. However the majority of mountain shoes or boots do not possess sufficient absorption qualities so as to soften the impact of hard surfaces and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered as orthopaedic creations! Consequently it is our own responsibility and in the interests of our feet, back, and general articulation, to invest a thought and penny or two to the question. A first step would be a visit to a specialised shop so as to check out the innersole we have and which almost certainly will be of a basic type and are very unlikely to be absorbent to impact. So a replacementt innersole, anatomic and shock absorbent in nature, and of optimum fit, will be  a good first step. An even better solution in many cases would be a direct visit to a shop specialised in posture and balance for these specialists will be able to advise on and recommend a solution which you will be able to use in all your footwear, except for highheels. Such a solution will enable you to add a new dimension to your mountain walking! This aspect solved we will look in the next article atthose little tips which will enable you to walk more and suffer less! Keep on walking!

Marco Sacchelli
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