The benefits of walking are well documented along with advice about how most of us would be better off if we did more of it and I couldn’t agree more. This post offers some tips to help your walking feel easier; I hope it will help motivate you to walk more if needed or, if you already walk a lot, find more enjoyment from the walking you do.
Whenever my clients ask me to look at walking with them, the first thing I suggest is that they walk as normal and notice what happens. Here are some common observations from my clients and myself:
- Lots of side to side movement– this uses a lot of energy and is wasteful when the direction we want to go is usually forward
- Lifting the whole leg to take a step – this takes a lot of effort and can result in tightness in the hip and back (no wonder people crave a soak in a hot bath after a long walk)
- Reaching forward with the leading leg or ‘striding out’ – this often results in the need to lean backwards for balance which can cause tension in the back and neck (more long soaks in the bath required)
- Bending forward at the waist – this is often a result of people trying to get someplace quickly and again, can result in back and neck ache
These four simple tips will help reduce some of the problems described above and help your walking feel easier:
- Allow the bend of your knee to initiate each step
- As your knee bends allow your foot to peel off the ground heel first
- Be aware of where your head and your feet are aiming. Ideally, you want a sense of your head gently aiming up and your feet aiming down (this is not what is happening if your foot is way out in front or you are bending at your waist)
- Look out and enjoy your surroundings. The benefits of mindfulness are also well documented
Happy walking. I hope this blog has inspired you to do more of it or helps you to get more enjoyment from what you already do.
P.S. this is a picture of my lovely dog ‘Flick’. She is my motivation for walking come rain or shine. What’s yours?
If this post has sparked your curiosity and you are interested in finding out how the Alexander Technique can help you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07957 981240 get in touch using the contact icons
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