Walking seems like a simple activity and actually it is. But with so much time sitting down, a lot of us have forgotten how to walk properly.
The way you hold your body is important to walk easily and comfortably. Poor walking posture can result in injury, discomfort, or make you tire sooner than you should. But when you walk with proper form, you’ll be able to breathe easier, avoid back pain, walk faster and for longer time.
Stand up straight. Visualise being tall and straight, like a tree. Do not arch your back. Elongate your body. Hold your head up and eyes forward. Your shoulders should be down, back and relaxed. Now, tighten your tummy and bottom and fall into a natural stride.
Keep your eyes focused at least fifteen feet ahead of you. This ensures that your neck is aligned properly which helps you to inhale more air and maximises oxygen supply to your working muscles.
When you walk, focus on gently pulling your shoulders down and back by lifting your chest. While doing this, you should feel taller than normal.
Your arms aid walking more than you might think. Swinging your arms not only aids walking, but it also increases calorie burn. Swing your arms naturally backward and forward. Your opposite arm and leg should be swinging forward together. The swinging of arms prevents any swelling of the fingers and over time helps to increase your walking speed and maintaining your heart rate.
Your abdominal are the core muscles of your body and deserve focus. Your core is the muscle group that covers your midsection like a wide belt. Core muscles provide essential stability to your spine and should be activated when you are walking. To brace your core muscles, imagine tightening your stomach muscles in response to someone poking you in the stomach with their finger.
Push off from your heel and roll through to your toe. Your heel should always first strike the ground and your toes should gently flex upward. The ideal foot action should be heel to toe before completing the step and moving to the next one. Your feet are the final part of the walking chain. When you are walking, your steps should be in a rolling motion.
Wear flexible shoes, as this will allow you to roll through the step. Shoes that are too hard will cause your feet to slap down rather than to roll.