Walking is such a great form of exercise for people of all ages. Walking is low impact and can provide the most health and longevity benefits. Over 80 million Americans consider themselves walkers. We see people walking day and night – indoors at malls, at parks and around our neighborhoods. Walking is second nature to us yet we have come to forget how to walk properly. There are simple walking techniques that we can use to keep our body balanced and in good form.
ACA spokesperson Karen Erickson, DC, FACC, was featured in a Shape magazine article on the best ways to improve posture, nix pain and boost confidence when walking. According to Dr. Erickson, “Most people don’t walk with proper alignment. From all of the sitting that we do during the day, our hip flexors are tight so we walk with our hips flexed, our back arched and our bum behind us.”
Be mindful of your form when walking. A great stride has good posture and purposeful movements. Follow the 7 points of proper walking techniques to get the most of your walks and to avoid imbalances that can cause misalignments and joint pain.
Proper Walking Techniques
- Hold your head high
- Look forward – not at the ground or your phone
- Chin should be parallel to the ground
- Move shoulders naturally – hands free from devices
- Swing arms freely with your elbows slightly bent
- Gently tighten your stomach muscles
- Wear appropriate walking shoes & walk by rolling your foot from heel to toe