Walking is a great exercise because it’s so simple to do. But using the correct posture and movements is essential. Here are some proper techniques.
- Bend your elbow and keep it as right angles. The faster you pump your elbows back and forth, the faster your legs will go too.
- Posture is very important; it opens up your air ways so you breathe better.
- Keep your tummy in, straighten your back, and drop your shoulders.
- Hold your head up. Imagine you are a puppet. This keeps your head and back straight.
- Strike with the heel, push off with the foot. Walk on your heel for 20 meters then walk on your tiptoe for another 20 meters.
- Don’t over stride.
- Buy a pedometer to count how many steps you have walked each day. Write down the number of steps you have taken every night, and try to “beat” that number the next day. Walking programs often suggest 10,000 a day You can even organize yourselves into teams, perhaps with co-workers and have competitions to see which team walks the most steps over 5 weeks. Many Cell Phone Providers now offer a downloadable pedometer for GPS capable phones for a small one time fee.
- Be prepared for your walk. Take water with you. Drink water during walks of ten minutes or more whether you feel thirsty or not.
- If you are walking and become short of breath, slow down or stop. Ask for help if you need it.
- Don’t carry weights with you as you walk. This extra weight throws your gait out of balance.
- Be sure to wear proper footwear. Good, comfortable walking shoes or sneakers and thick socks. Sandals, flip-flops, and even fashion athletics do not support the various muscles, tendons, and joints in your foot and can therefore cause strain and injury.
- Try using an iPod or other MP3 player to make your walk more interesting.
- If you walk outside, choose clothes appropriate for the weather. Avoid rubberized materials, as they don’t allow perspiration to evaporate. Wear bright colors or reflective tape after dark so that motorists can see you. On sunny days also use a hat and sun block .
- Make your walk a fun. If you don’t like walking alone, invite your spouse, partner, friend or neighbor to join you. You might also join a health club and use a treadmill.
- Vary your routine. Plan several different walking routes for variety. But if you’re walking alone, be sure to tell someone which route you’re taking.