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Get Outdoors

The Power of Walking: Q & A with Dr. Robert Frimmel

Robert Frimmel, DPM, is certainly no stranger to feet. He sees them all day long—in all shapes and sizes and in all different conditions. Dr. Frimmel is a member of the American Association of Podiatric Sports Medicine, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Florida Podiatric Medical Association. FoodFit caught him in between patients at his practice in Sarasota, FL—the Sarasota Footcare Center—to find out more about that thing we do best with our feet—walking.

FoodFit   Walking seems so basic—is it really?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

Yes, we all learn how to walk at an early age and we can do it for nearly all our life.
 

FoodFit   We all hear that walking is a great exercise, but why exactly is it?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

Everyone can do it. Walking is a low impact exercise that doesn't jar the body. It can also be done anywhere and at any age. It's a lifelong activity.
 

FoodFit   What's the minimum amount of time and frequency that people need to walk in order to get a benefit?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

You'll reap the benefits by walking 3-5 times a week for 20-30 minutes. If you walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week, you can lose or keep off 10 pounds a year.
 

FoodFit   What's a good walking speed for most people?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

A really brisk pace is 14-16 minutes/mile. Most people can easily walk at a pace of 16-18 minutes/mile.
 

FoodFit   At what age can you take your child out walking with you?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

That's a great question. By the age of three or four, your child can join you on a nice walk.
 

FoodFit   What can you do to take care of your active feet?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

You should inspect your feet daily, wear proper shoes and socks (a cotton/acrylic blend is best) and replace your shoes every 300-500 miles (approximately six to nine months). Your walking shoes should be supportive, have adequate room in the toe box and have a snug heel counter.
 

FoodFit   What's the most common walking related injury?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

Heel pain, or plantar fasciitis.
 

FoodFit   What's plantar fasciitis caused by?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

Overuse and improper shoes; overdoing exercise; increasing walking pace or frequency too quickly.
 

FoodFit   The United States Department of Health and Human Services has endorsed "National Walk To Work Day". What about those folks who can't walk to work?

ROBERT FRIMMEL:

 

It's true; most people can't walk to work. Still, they can walk at work, either during their lunch break or at other times of the day.
 

 

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