Walking Posture

by Bea | January 3rd, 2012 | Walking

In order to get some quality walks in, you do need to have good posture. Walking hunched over, or putting too much pressure in the wrong places, may actually do more harm than good.

First and foremost, stand up straight. You may think that this is trivial, but that’s because it is. Straight doesn’t mean that you pull your shoulders back and try to look tall by arching your back.

Straight means that you should be thinking about being tall. While you are thinking about that, take some time to center yourself. Don’t lean too far back or forward; that will just cause unnecessary stress and strain on your body. Take your head and keep your chin parallel to the floor. It’s okay to look around, but look out at least 20 ft in front of you for the majority of the time, and try to avoid looking down. Now take a breath, relax, shrug your shoulders and let them fall slightly back. For the final step, “suck” in your gut. Hold yourself and engage those abs.

Once you have your core all set, you will want to start thinking about your arms. Your elbow should be bent 90 degrees and close to your body, your hands should be loose in a semi-closed curl, and your arms should move opposite hand to foot (and should never cross your body). Once you have your body in line, then it is time to think about the actual steps. You should be rolling in your step from your heels to your toes. Make sure that you are wearing the right type of shoe! You should then determine the size of your stride and try to keep this constant throughout your walk (unless you want to push yourself a little bit further).

Stop yourself every so often when you walk and correct yourself. Check and see what you are doing and how your posture is. Yes, it may be a lot to think about, but if you just focus on one thing at a time, you will get there eventually. With practice it will all become more natural to you, and you won’t even have to actively think about standing up straight or keeping your head level.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.