Yesterday I learned how to walk. No, I'm not a toddler, and yes, I've been walking for more than 20 years. But after getting a lesson from the New Balance team about Good Form Walking at the New York Botanical Garden I feel a new comfort in each step I take.
Follow these three steps so you too can learn how to be a better walker today. You'll put less pressure on your joints, use the correct muscles meant to be used when walking, and maximize your workout. You can use these tips if you're walking for fitness or leisure.
Pay attention to your stride
Take shorter steps at a faster pace to maximize your muscle use and avoid knee, hip, and ankle injuries. Try different strides--first try walking with bigger steps and then shorten your stride until you find a rhythm that's right for you. If your knees are locking, your steps are probably too big. Walking should be comfortable.
Look at foot strike
What's a foot strike? Just like it sounds, it's how your foot hits the pavement (or hiking trail, if you're lucky). Don't stomp; you want to land lightly on your feet and transition forward. Aim to land on the center of your heel and then move the foot forward.
Perk up your posture
Stop slouching! (Did you know that good posture is good for your health in general?) Keep your core strong by keeping your back straight. Aim to keep your head up, and occasionally raise your hands over your head, and take a deep breath. You'll realize your posture has improved and your energy will as well.
Try incorporating these three steps into your next walk. Your abs and glutes should feel the difference!