Walking is an ideal way to get daily exercise - it strengthens almost every major organ in the body, promotes optimal bone density, and boosts the immune system. But have you considered how to best put one foot in front of the other? Your walking habits can have an impact on how much benefit you get from each outing. Keep the following in mind when walking:
- Start with good footwear. Make sure what you are wearing is comfortable and not going to cause you to cut your walk short. If foot pain limits you, seek out a local running store where the ideal shoe can be evaluated and tested for you.
- Walk with your head erect. Look ahead and train your sight 3 to 6 metres ahead of you. If you need to check the ground to avoid obstacles, lower your eyes, not your head, and try not to thrust your trunk forward or let your arms dangle listlessly at your sides.
- Keep your back straight. Stretch your spine so your shoulders are level and square, and tuck your buttocks in.
- Bend your arms. Flex your elbows at close to 90-degree angles and let your arms swing at waist level.
- Short steps. Take shorter, measured steps, with your feet striking the ground with the heel and pushing off with the toes. A too-long stride can throw you off balance.