How to Walk
We all think we know how to walk: we’ve been doing it for long enough – some for longer than others! Children naturally know how to walk but over the years it’s likely that we develop undesirable or even harmful habits.
The illustration opposite, courtesy of the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, serves as a very useful reminder. Here are a few things to remember to help you adopt the correct technique.
Head: If you think of your nose being attached to a distant tree or fixed point, gradually drawing you towards it, you will keep your head in the correct position. It sounds rather bizarre but try it out to help establish correct habits. This head position is ideal but obviously safety must come first and we do not recommend trying this out unless the ground is even and free from hazards!
Arms: If you swing them, either straight or with arms bent as in the illustration and keep your shoulders relaxed, you should be able to feel a gentle side-to-side movement in your spine which has the effect of massaging spinal discs. This helps to maintain a healthy back, a problem area for many people.
Stomach Muscles & Glutes: As you walk try to tighten these important muscles. Glutes (the large muscles you sit on) are particularly important for walkers as, along with quads (mussels running down the front of your thigh), they help to protect your hips and knees.
Feet: As well as keeping your feet parallel, try to ‘squash lemons’ as you walk. Strike the ground with your heel and push off from your toes.