June 27, 2017

Walk your way to fitness! By Nicole Bryan

Walking for fitness is one of the simplest activities from which we can reap worthwhile metabolic benefits, as well as cardiovascular benefits.

Begin with a five to ten minute warm up of walking at a slow to moderate pace, followed by fast paced walking. Important points regarding walking for fitness form include:

 

Focus on walking heel to toe, instead of landing with a flat foot. Doing so reduces our chance of falling and allows us to use our calf muscles easier to power our body forward.

Stride out. Try to cover at least twelve inches with each stride. Also pay attention to keep right foot stride and left foot stride even.

Keep feet parallel. Keeping our feet parallel will insure lower body musculature is able to work at full power.

Knees should be pointing forward. Pay attention to not twist knees in, out or sideways.

Keep hips facing forward. To walk more efficiently don’t rotate the pelvis with each step. Instead focus on swinging legs in a forward direction.

Belly button should be held in tight. Pulling the belly button in tight should be done without holding the breath. Doing so, helps us maintain proper upright posture.

Keep hands open. Clenching our fists will only waste energy and cause us to raise our shoulders up adding tension to our neck.

Pull shoulders down and back. Pinching our shoulder blades together slightly will force our shoulders into a back and down position.

Power arms forward or back. Keeping our arms moving forward and band, not in a side to side motion is the most efficient method to maintain a fast walking pace.

Chin should be parallel to the floor. Keeping our chin parallel to the floor, instead of tilted up will ease neck tension and allow our arms to move forward and back easier.

Head should be lifted with eyes looking straight ahead. When we are looking down the entire time, the tendency is to hunch our shoulders forward and curl our back forward as well. Both of these posture positions can add strain to our lower back and neck.

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