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Walking for health: Finding the proper footwear for your journey

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Walking is an essential part of fitness and well-being. It is one of the simplest forms of exercise, and yet walking for only 30 minutes a day can yield dramatic and lifelong benefits. A regular walking routine can help lower your blood pressure and lower your bad cholesterol (LDLs) while raising your much-coveted good cholesterol (HDLs).

Walking is healthy for everyone. It was previously believed that starting an exercise regimen only “worked” for those under 40 to improve long term health, but a recent study has shown that walking can also be beneficial for the frail and elderly. Walking actually reduced their risk for falls and fractures, and often prevented elderly people from becoming disabled or severely physically incapacitated in the future.

Given these facts, incorporating walking into your daily life is highly recommended. That being said, having the right walking shoes is critical when embarking on this healthy and active journey. Wearing the wrong shoes can cause much pain and discomfort. It can also place unnecessary stress on your joints and even cause a severe injury.

For the purpose of evaluating an ideal and appropriate shoe for walking, I tested the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit sneaker. This shoe is intended for cross training and I found it suitable for long distance walking and more strenuous walks at a quicker pace. I also found it to be effective when doing cardio workouts, which involved vigorous movements and shifts in direction at a quick pace.

The shoe itself is comfortable, and true to its tagline it is extremely flexible and lightweight. The only downside I could find is the way the shoe molded to the foot. I have slightly high arches and I did not feel completely supported in that area. They also have a limited selection of colors available, a small negative.

Overall, this shoe is extremely flexible and easy to walk in. I will be further researching other sneakers that might possibly be a better choice in terms of fit, but in general my strides felt smooth and comfortable. I recommend this sneaker to moderate or fast-paced walkers.

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