Walking feels pretty second nature to us, just put one foot in front of the other and move from one place to another, right? But it can actually be a pretty good workout that can be done pretty much anywhere and any time, and following a few rules for good walking form makes it even better. According to Harvard Health, these small - but important - tweaks will help you get the most out of your steps and have the most effective walk that’s also better on your body.
- Stand tall - A lot of people carry their hunched-over computer posture to their walks, according to Harvard Health. And while it’s easy to ignore posture, it’s one of the most important factors of proper walking form. The key is to stand up straight and extend your spine “as if you were being lifted from the crown of your head” and keep it up as you move.
- Keep your eyes up - Gazing down at the ground can put added stress on your upper back and neck, but Harvard Health has a fix. Try keeping your eyes pointed about 10 to 20 feet in front of you, that way you can see what’s ahead without putting tension on your upper body.
- Bring your shoulders back and down - Relax your shoulders and try to keep them away from your ears to reduce upper body tension and let your arms swing freer.
- Swing from your shoulders - It’s easy to hold tension and stress in your shoulders when walking, so Harvard Health suggests letting your arms swing freely from the shoulders - not elbows - and forward and back - not across the body or higher than the chest.
- Step lightly - When it comes to the actual steps, focus on your feet rolling from heal to toe, not landing flat-footed. Reaching your leg far out in front of you increases impact on your joints and actually slows you down, so for the least risk of injury, try to maintain a smooth stride.
Source: Well and Good