By Nicolas Nyemann:
Who does not enjoy a good walk on a nice summer day. The sun above, the song of the birds and the sense of freedom. But a walk has other benefits than being nice. It can be training for both endurance and balance. Now I know that a walk is not so great if you have a "full man's walk" and can only walk two hundred meters before you get tired. But it does not matter in principle, because if you consider a walk as a game of exercise, it is subordinate to how far you can go or what it looks like. We are all different and we will be challenged at different levels.
For example, if have massive balance problems during walking, the walk is in principle balance training. It is important here that you do not opt for difficult routes that can be dangerous for you. But you have to think that every time you challenge yourself with a walk, you will improve your balance. Your musculature and ligaments will be stimulated, thereby improving your balance. I am not advocating avoiding walking with a cane or walker. Everyday life must work, and shopping and other errands must be arranged without putting lives and limbs at risk. But once in a while it is important to "throw away" the tools and try without. It could easily be with a physical therapist who can guide and support you in the right places.
If your balance is ok but not quite optimal, a walk on uneven ground is just the thing. Leave the forest trail and go "offroad", walk on bare toes on the beach or on cobblestones. On the uneven and unpredictable surface, your balance will be trained at a much higher level than on a level surface.¨
Others have major problems with the walking distance. And then it is super annoying that you can not go a really long trip. There are no shortcuts for improvement here. Unfortunately, you have to go out and walk, because only by pushing you can in the long run increase the distance. Here, however, research also shows that one can increase one's walking distance by fitness training in alternative ways - e.g. by training on a fitness bike. It may also make sense to know your walking route so that when the next bench shows up you can "rest" on your walk.
I can understand if you don't always dare to challenge yourself, but it is incredibly important not to get too comfortable. Remember sometimes to drop some of the safe - cane, walker or boyfriend's arm. If it seems very scary, it should probably be with your physical therapist for the first time.