We think that we know how to do basic things, but do we, do we indeed? How many times have we been corrected for having bad posture while walking or sitting? Probably way too many. How many times have we been corrected about writing or typing inefficiently? Too many times.
What about walking? We all know how to walk, right? Well, it seems like it, but it is certainly not the case for most people. We don’t know how to walk right, or rather, healthy. Here is a short guide on how to do it properly.
The Head Position
We often forget about our head. It should be upright, facing forward. Our eyes should be slightly above our shoulder level and our chin should be parallel to the ground. If you need to, imagine your head being pulled upright all the time, to the position that it is in, so that you don’t drop your head to your chest, meaning slouch. Your eyes should be looking ahead, but not too far ahead, about 10 meters maximum.
This is the biggest problem, one that also stems from sitting too much. Slouching, shoulders dropping because a muscle is too weak and of course, shoulders going forward. Shoulders being forward puts tension on the neck, the joints and even the arms.
The best way to remedy this is to shrug. Not in the sense that you shouldn’t care about it, but as a method of helping your shoulders return to its natural position. When you shrug and relax your shoulders, they typically fall in their natural position. You shouldn’t push them upwards or pull too far back, but keep them from falling. You should also straighten your back, of course, though most people just have a problem with slouched shoulders.
The Core and Arms
We need to use our core muscles more often. The way we do that when walking is to engage the core with every step, focusing on pushing our belly button towards our spine. Engaging our core relieves some stress from the back.
Our arms should swing naturally, back and forth, without any exaggerated motions. The arms should swing from the shoulders and not the elbows, otherwise you would put unnecessary strain on the shoulder.
The Feet and Legs
The way we step is also very important and it plays a huge role on how we put strain on our knees or hamstrings and back. We need to land with our heels first and then move steadily to our toes. With that, we should never step with the entire foot. You have surely felt the pain of jumping from something and landing with your entire foot. You shouldn’t also land on your toes unless you want knee injuries.
Surprise, there is a healthier way to walk and we should all put it into practice, more often than anything else,actually. With these tips, you should be able to walk more often and feel much better by doing it. It is a good investment into your future self.