Nowadays we don’t walk all that often, which is bad enough already. And when we do go out for a walk, we do it wrong. Yes, there’s a good and a bad way of walking, and it can impact your health in more ways than you think! Here are eight common mistakes you’re making when walking because walking the right way matters.
You’re not moving those hips!
If you often get back home with sore feet, chances are you’re not moving your hips while you walk. The leg alone can’t handle your body’s forward motion, and it needs to be aligned with your hips to reduce that stress. You need not swing those hips like a Disco dancer but try to rotate them a little every time you give a step forward.
Align your feet
It might sound obvious, but most people don’t have aligned feet, and that’s because they have walked all their lives incorrectly. Make sure your toes are facing in the direction you’re going. If they’re not, try forcing them a little. Orthopedic shoes can help with more severe cases, but most of the time, we’re just not paying attention. Try to keep your feet parallel to each other.
This might have nothing to do with your legs and feet, but if you’re walking with your head down, you’re walking all wrong, and you could find yourself in danger. Look where you’re going, but don’t look down — instead, look at the path before you and try to stay sharp and focused. Most pedestrian accidents happen because people were looking down or were on their phones.
Glide, don’t stomp
People who live in apartments eventually learn to glide instead of stomping their feet, significantly not to disturb their neighbors below — some people never learn, though. Even if you don’t have anyone living below you, try to walk gracefully instead of click-clacking on your way to work. This will reduce the stress on your feet and knees. Joint pain is no joke, and you can prevent it by walking a bit more gracefully.
Take longer strides
Short steps are a waste of energy, and considering each step adds up to your joint and bone degeneration, you might want to take longer strides without exaggerating, of course. Try covering a few more inches with every step, and you’ll notice considerable relief in your soles, knees and hips. You’ll also work out those glutes!
Tighten your stomach
Your abs should be tight when walking, which will protect your back from carrying all your weight, which leads to back pain and worse. This will also help you burn more calories when walking and will even improve your stamina and put less pressure on your knees when going up the stairs. Keep that belly tight, and you’ll be in better shape in no time.
Keep your back straight
We know your mom used to tell you this all the time, but don’t slouch. This will lead to a great deal of problems later in your life, as you’re not distributing your weight properly. Your back and your neck need to work extra hard to keep you on your feet, and your knees suffer too. Keep your back straight, and you’ll even look taller.
Swing your arms
You’re not an 80s video-game character, so swing those arms and give your body the impulse it needs to move forward. This is particularly true with people who walk with their phones in their hands or with their hands in their pockets. You need to swing those arms naturally to make the most out of your energy. It will help with balance as well and will keep you from tripping so often.
You Can Get Better at Everything, Even at Walking
Walking is instinctive, but you must do it right to prevent injuries, accidents and joint deterioration. Walk better, and you’ll even be in better shape. You’ll have to train to walk right, though. Bad habits are hard to break, and if you’ve always walked incorrectly, you’ll have a hard time returning to the right path.