When completing a long-distance walk it is important that you start preparing weeks in advance. There are some tips for this period of time that you should consider.
- Your diet should be balanced with at least 2 different food groups in each of your meals.
- You should shift to eating smaller meals more frequently. It is recommended that you have four or five small meals because it is easier for your body to digest food in smaller amounts.
- Your meals should be fresh. When shopping for groceries look for fresh foods, in particular when purchasing dairy, fruit and vegetables.
- Ingest a lot of heme-iron. This iron is easily absorbed by the body and can be found in beef, but liver, mussels and oysters are better sources.
- Staying hydrated is vital and you should not drink any alcoholic beverages like wine or beer. Alcohol puts pressure on your liver and this uses up additional energy. The energy used by the liver on alcohol could be used to help complete your training and long-distance walk.
It is not only the weeks leading up to the walk that are important. Just before the walk, you need to consider some tips as well.
- Ensure your socks are breathable and cushioned. Walking socks are a good investment.
- New walking shoes or orthotic shoes can make a big difference and they don’t have to cost much – look at this Vionic clearance to see the value on offer.
- Before you start your long-distance walk smear your feet with Vaseline, Glide or foot cream. Most people don’t consider this, but you will be amazed by the results.
- Do not go for a pedicure before the walk as this will soften the feet. It is essential that your feet are as tough as possible.
- Clip your toenails before the walk. There are a lot of long-distance walkers who have lost nails because they were too long.
During the walk, there are also some important tips that you need to think about.
- During the walk stretch and move the muscles that are not being exercised. This could mean rolling your shoulders a few times as they could stiffen during the walk. You should also stand still and hug your knees, one at a time, to your chest. This will stretch your buttocks which can help you walking.
- Ensure that you hydrate yourself at least every 10 minutes during the walk. Do not allow yourself to become thirsty as this could lead to heat stroke and other issues.
- Make sure you eat while you are walking. Ingesting enough calories while you walk ensures that your muscles have energy to continue moving.
You should consider some tips for after the walk as well.
- Always have a cool-down after your walk. This should be a few extra minutes where you stretch as this can help prevent injuries.
- After the walk drink a bottle of Ensure or Boost. Fruit juice or chocolate milk will also work. These drinks will help decrease your recuperation time
- Instead of a hot shower have a cold one and you will feel the benefits more. Cold showers shrink any swelling that occurred during the walk. The hot shower should be saved for a few hours after the walk.