We frequent flat surfaces to our detriment. We adapt to the sameness, flatness and boring surfaces. Our feet, ankles and legs become stiff and inflexible in response. The communication that is needed to make locomotion possible becomes less and less. The brain stops talking to the feet and the feet stop talking to the brain. And that spells trouble.
It is quite common for the elderly to fall. As we age the muscles involved in locomotion start working in tighter and tighter ranges of motion. As we age it is common to shuffle. The hip muscles that are supposed to cantilever our hips to lift the leg in a swinging motion stop doing their job. Any irregularity in the surface when encounter by a shuffling foot can lead to a fall. And falls can be life threatening.
Our feet, ankles and legs actually thrive when given challenges. Feet and ankles in particular become smarter when meeting irregular surfaces. In fact, there is a counterpart to eye- hand coordination. It is called, of course, eye- foot coordination. In sports they talk about this with good athletes. They are said to have “smart feet”.
Now don’t go and break your neck trying to scale up rough and irregular surfaces. Get smart and try the poles used in “ski walking”. That’s right just like skiing poles only rubber tipped for non- snow surfaces.
Ski walking is much more stable than a cane. Instead of three point support you now have four point support. Whatever is under foot has less impact since you have the stability of a quadra-ped.
But the one downside are the jokes from your friends and neighbors. “How is the skiing?” “Don’t you know the mountain is over there?” and so forth. But after everyone runs out of one-liners you can enjoy the fun and healthful benefits of walking the rather bumpy earth.
Ski Walking poles