Walking Healthy With Quick-Seat Chair        

Temporary Seating That Closes Itself !

Walking Healthy With Quick-Seat Chair        

By Khadi Madama Quick-Seat Chair Wellness Coordinator

Walking as an exercise requires some careful planning. The right footwear,  the right surface, fair weather conditions, safe routes, scenic interests, and the ABC’s of Always Be Cautious. We all have friends who are avid walkers, who every day in any climate get out and walk, often buffeting themselves from what I call, “iron sword wind,” the kind that seems to cut right through you no matter what you’re wearing. These friends look at you questionably when you suggest that, perhaps, it would be better to wait until the wind subsides. Often the walks are in heavy traffic areas at certain times of the day where the air quality isn’t good and it’s a bad idea from the carbon monoxide fumes, yet they will relentlessly pursue the walk as if driven by some unseen force.

Somewhere in the 1960’s, I got involved with poetry reading. One cannot possibly escape the 1960’s without running right smack into Allen Ginsburg, consummate king of walking. It seems that Ginsburg walked everywhere, and everywhere meant miles and miles. He felt it enhanced his poetry. As an impressionable teenager I thought to myself, well if it’s good for Ginsburg, I should do it too. That day I set out from home to walk to my father’s office, which although was a 5 minute drive, is a 46 minute walk. By the time I’d gotten to the last leg of the walk, I decided to forget about Ginsburg and simply drive my car. Needless to say, I got a ride home from my father, that day.  My feet hurt, my back hurt, my legs hurt and worse, I felt completely alone and stranded walking alone, yet it was only 2 miles.

Years ago  at an assisted living residence where I was working, I measured the distance from the administrator’s office/reception desk area to the far end of the building. It was a little over ¼ of a mile. That’s a long way for a resident walk starting from their apartment to the reception desk and then back again if they’re using a cane, or walker. Each time at work, that I would have to traverse that ¼ mile, the thought of Ginsburg would resurface. Shall I mention that there weren’t places to sit along these long corridors? No room, no handrails. There were only benches at the ends. The only respite beyond the long corridors was that the bistro area was about mid-way. A few Quick-Seat Chairs would have made all the difference in the world.  I used that ½ mile back and forth and turned it into  an Olympic challenge by signing them all of them up for the Presidential Fitness program and logged in all of that walking time, then at the end of 8 weeks, they all posed for a lovely picture holding onto their framed certificates signed by the President.

Some Tips For Outside Walking:

Footwear: If you have podiatry problems, get the advice of your podiatrist for the best footwear for walking, taking into consideration the surface upon which you will walk. Park grounds, sidewalks, or combo. Get the best footwear for the type of walking you’ll be doing.

Bags: Avoid carrying a heavy handbag, or any handbag at all. Rather use a wallet that you can carry on an inside pocket. Many are made just for walkers and runners. Avoid having a wallet in your back pocket as this can cause pressure on your sciatic nerve. Carrying a heavy handbag regularly on your walks will cause a shift in your shoulders from the weight leading to other problems.

Backpacks: Many walkers and runners like to add weight for strength training, but keep in mind that there are specified weight limits so as not to force your body forward causing spine and neck problems. The proper ratio is:  A  hiking pack should not weigh more than about 10 percent of your body weight. (If you weigh 150 pounds, your pack should not exceed 15 pounds for hiking.) *Thanks to REI Co-op, a backpacking and hiking reference website.

Coats & Scarves: Wearing bulky coats with high collars and thick scarves to insulate you more often than not will over time force your neck out of alignment with your spine causing any assortment of problems to neck, upper back and even your breathing if you are curving your body to protect it from the cold. Consider going at a milder time of the day, or changing to a different day, or shortening your normal time by half. It’s not what you do once in a while, it’s the constant repetitive movement on a daily basis that causes RSIs, or Repetitive Stress Injuries and they can occur just from the simple act of walking long distance over time.

Posture: Be aware of your posture when you walk. How often have you seen older walkers whose bodies are permanently bent forward like trees exposed to bad weather. If you walk with a friend, use the buddy system to check each other’s posture regularly. If you walk alone, be sure to periodically pause, straighten up and make adjustments.

Eyes:  Your eyes should never be exposed to harsh wind or bright sunlight for any prolonged period of time. Check with your optometrist for proper eye-wear if you wear glasses, for proper UV protection. Protect your eyes on windy days or avoid walking on those days.

Surface: Avoid walking if it’s snowed or rained and there is any chance of black ice. If you walk on pavements, footwear with good support is needed or the constant pounding on the cement can cause damage to your knees.

We at Quick-Seat Chair have always been dedicated to your well-being and safety from the moment Quick-Seat Chair was invented and every day thereafter. You might say that we’re the “X Marks The Spot” of the treasure, the Quick-Seat Chair, found,  when you’ve been walking or standing and waiting for what feels like eternity. Like in days of “yore” being outside the last dragon on the treasure map into the unknown and you just need a place to sit awhile. Happy Trails to you from Quick-Seat Chair.

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