6 Tips to Help Your Walk Properly
When we walk, we don't normally think about whether we're walking correctly or not. We just assume that because we can walk, we're doing it correctly. However, being more aware of how we walk as well as the right technique and posture can help improve our body's overall wellness. Read on to learn six tips on how you can improve your walking posture.
1. Keep Your Head Up
Make sure that when you're walking that you're standing tall with your chin parallel to the ground. Imagine that there is something pulling your head up as you walk. Doing so can help prevent you from drooping your head down or slouching your neck while you walk. Also, try to look far ahead of you when you walk.
2. Lengthen Your Back
Just like when you are sitting, try to avoid slouching, hunching, or leaning forward as you walk. If you do so, it can cause unnecessary stress on your neck, shoulders, & upper back muscles and joints.
3. Keep Shoulders Down
The way your shoulders are positioned can significantly affect your walking posture. Try to avoid tensing or hunching your shoulders forward. It can strain your muscles around your neck, shoulders, & back.
Try some shrugs - letting your shoulder raise up and then fall down naturally. This can help relieve the strain or tension in your shoulders and help reposition them naturally. Also, try to be conscious of how your shoulders feel. They should be relaxed and now tensed up towards your ears.
4. Engage Your Core
When you take each step, try to focus on tightening and engaging your core muscles. You can do this by pulling your belly button in toward your spine, kind of like when you are about to do a crunch. This can help you be more balanced and help relieve any tension that you may usually create on your back when you walk.
5. Swing Your Arms
Ever notice some people who like to swing their arms as they walk around your neighborhood or at the park? Well, gently swinging your arms back and forth on your sides can actually help with your walking posture. Make sure that you're swinging your arms from your shoulders and not from the elbows. Swing them along the sides of your body and keep the swinging to only around your midsection. Don't swing too high up to your chest.
6. Heel-Toe Steps
Try to walk with your heel hitting the floor first and then rolling your feet forward towards your toes, and then pushing off from your toe. Avoid stepping flat footed or walking with your toes hitting the floor first.
Things To Avoid While Walking
To prevent injury or strain on your muscles & joints, try to avoid the following habits while walking:
Don't look down - Many people today are often caught walking around looking down at their phone. However, this can put a huge strain on your neck.
Don't slouch - As mentioned earlier, this can cause back, neck, & shoulder strain. Always keep your shoulders down and back and focus on keeping your spine elongated.
Wear the right shoes - If you're going to be walking a lot, make sure to wear walking shoes that are comfortable. The shoes should also provide good arch & heel support as well as enough cushion to absorb the shock as your feet hits the ground each time.
Benefits of Walking Properly
Some of the many benefits of walking properly include：
- Pain-Free Joints & Muscles
More Energy - When you walk poorly, it isn't efficient. When you walk in good form, it helps you conserve energy.
Lung Health - Walking straight & not hunched over allows your lungs to expand more fully, which in turn makes breathing easier.
Improved digestion - When your organs are not compressed & there's a healthy blood flow in your digestive tract, your body can digest food better.
Greater core strength - When you walk while engaging your core, your abdominal muscles get stronger
Better balance - Walking with the correct posture can help improve your balance & make you less prone to falling & tripping.
It is worth the time and effort to make sure you walk properly now as it can significantly impact your overall wellbeing. It can help you prevent muscle pain & aches and help reduce your risk of injury. The above are just some suggestions, however be sure to speak to your doctor for more ways to improve your walking posture.