Walking is a simple activity and it should remain simple. We have forgotten to walk properly since many of us have a desk job. Many of us just shuttle between the bed, car and the desk only. For us walking a mile or so requires too much effort and time. However it is important that we include walking in our everyday life.
But as we start adding the simplest way of exercise in our daily lives, it is important that we do the same correctly. The proper posture – the proper time and the right attitude is essential.
Proper walking posture is efficient and easy on the body. Poor walking postures can cause early fatigue, discomfort and even injury. Walking properly involves the whole body – from head to toe.
HEAD: Walk tall, do not lean forward/backward and stand straight.
You don’t have to look down. Always look forward, at least 20 feet ahead. The chin should be parallel to the ground and the ears should be directly on your shoulders. Your back should be straight and should not be slouching and walking. Focus on head and whole body will fall in line.
SHOULDERS: ‘Relax ‘, shrug once and let the shoulders fall back and lift your chest.
If you are stressed then you might have tight and raised shoulders. It is best to let go of oneself and relax. Let your shoulders fall back and lift your chest. Walk proud and confident.
ARMS: ‘Swing’, it generates extra momentum and increases calorie burning.
Hands should be relaxed. The opposite arm and leg coordination should be there and your arms should be swinging together. Your leg and arm movement ensures that your body is in close coordination with walking. This also helps in building a momentum and opting for an option called power walking – an exceptional way to lose weight.
CORE: ‘Brace your core’
Core is the muscle group that surrounds the torso or the mid skeleton. It provides stability and should be activated while walking by tightening your abdominal muscles.
LEGS: ‘Align and level’
Hips should be fairly level, legs should comfortably swing on you stride. Keep your knees tightly bent and do not roll in or out while walking. Your knees must remain properly aligned with the hips and feet.
The heels should strike first with the toes pulled up at 45 degrees. Then roll through the step from head to toe and finally push off with your big toe to move into the next step. Wear flexible shoes as stiff shoes will slap down rather than roll through. Finally, make your walk comfortable and enjoyable.
Focus on one or two points per walk and gradually in few weeks you can master all of the points without having to think about it.