Halloween 2022 is just around the corner! And for people with painful foot conditions, researching Halloween walking tips is a top priority.
The spooky season is a trendy time in Toronto, and it incorporates exercise more than other holidays. Trick or treating is a time for long walks around the neighbourhood with the kids, scoring candy and witnessing all the creative costumes.
So when it comes to walking, what are some safe Halloween ideas? How can you embrace the holiday while avoiding debilitating foot pain?
If long walks are usually painful for you, but you don’t want to miss out, keep reading!
The Right Footwear
Trick or treating for the kids won’t be much fun if their parents are hobbling around in pain. But you can avoid that scenario by investing in the right footwear that complements your foot condition and alleviates foot pain while walking.
First, make sure you ditch your unsupportive shoes and shop for the right pair. Your shoes should be supportive in the arch and heel areas to promote a healthy range of motion and regulate your gait. They should also be fitted according to the length and width of your foot and leave enough space in the toe box.
To guarantee optimal Halloween walking safety and go the extra mile, you can consult your chiropodist about whether you need stability or neutral shoes. You may need stability shoes to boost motion control if you have flat feet or overpronate.
Here are some other considerations for your trick-or-treating journey:
- Custom orthotics: When you support your feet with orthotic inserts, your legs and feet relax into an ideal alignment position, reducing muscle strain. For added Halloween walking safety, try a custom orthotic fitting if you have plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, high arches or one of the conditions listed here.
- Compression stockings: More than just glorified pantyhose, compression socks are a stylish medical device that helps with edema (swelling), pregnancy-related foot pain, varicose veins and more. As a bonus, they offer an extra layer of protection against cold feet and promote blood circulation.
- Orthopedic footwear: These are shoes specifically designed to accommodate abnormal foot mechanics and structure, setting them apart from everyday footwear.
Sometimes we slump into a natural walking position and neglect our posture. But ignoring your stance can be more horrific than any Halloween costume on the street.
Try not to look down too much while trick-or-treating with the family. Additionally, pay careful attention to slouching, rolling your hips, and taking excessively long strides. These actions are proven to put too much stress on the lower leg joints.
Instead, keep your head up and elongate your neck and spine. You should also strike the ground in a “heel-to-toe” position. Not only will you prevent foot pain while walking, but your neck and back will thank you for practicing good posture.
Sometimes, making your walks more fun can help in the pain department. If you like, you can use Halloween as an opportunity to start counting your steps, aiming for close to 10,000 steps per day.
Not only does reaching this goal feel rewarding, but walking this much can also do the following:
- Improve heart health
- Reduce the risk of diabetes
- Improve mental health
- Boost fat-burning metabolism
If 10,000 steps seem too daunting for your foot pain, don’t stress! Research suggests that achieving between 5,000 – 10,000 steps is also sufficient.
Preparation and Practice
It’s a bad idea to wait until Halloween night to get some exercise. Instead, you should take short walks whenever you get the opportunity.
To be fair, certain conditions, especially osteoarthritis, can make a long walk downright excruciating. But if you wait until Halloween to go for a walk that clocks 10,000 steps or more, you’ll be in too much pain to enjoy the experience and may have to call it quits and go home.
Taking short, easy walks leading up to October 31st is the way to go. The key is to ease into it while walking slowly and avoiding putting too much pressure on your feet.
For even more protection, you can lead up to your trick-or-treating adventure by performing exercises from home, with calf raises being one of the best.
Rest With a Candy Haul
Recovery time is key for letting the healthy effects of exercise take place.
Scientifically speaking, exercise creates microscopic tears in your muscle tissue. But recovery periods trigger fibroblast cells to repair the tissues. This will help the next time you go for a long walk by making your muscles stronger and healthier.
And how does this tie in with Halloween? Whether it’s leftover candy at the house or candy the kids didn’t want, you can reward yourself after a long night of walking by resting your feet (and snacking on some treats). For optimal rest, try keeping your feet elevated for 15-20 minutes before soaking them in a warm foot bath.