What are some healthy leg postures to maintain while walking?
Most of us likely don’t give much thought to how we walk or whether we are walking correctly. But knowing how to walk with the right technique and good posture can help:
- keep your bones and joints aligned properly
- decrease wear and tear on your joints, muscles, and ligaments
- prevent back, hip, neck, and leg pain
- reduce muscles aches and fatigue
- reduce the risk of injuries
- improve your balance and stability
Walking with the right technique and posture isn’t difficult. But it does involve being mindful of how you move. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to walk properly with good posture.
There are numerous physical and mental benefits of proper posture and good walking technique. These benefits include:
- Pain-free muscles and joints. Walking properly can help you avoid putting unnecessary stress and strain on the muscles, ligaments, and joints throughout your body.
- More energy. Walking with poor posture isn’t efficient. It can wear your muscles out faster, whereas walking with good form can conserve your energy.
- Better lung health. Walking tall with your shoulders back allows your lungs to expand fully, making breathing easier and more efficient.
- Improved circulation. When your body is properly aligned and moving correctly, it makes it easier for your blood to circulate to all parts of your body.
- Improved digestion. Your body is better able to digest your food when your internal organs aren’t compressed and there’s healthy blood flow to your digestive tract.
- Greater core strength. Your abdominal muscles benefit from walking tall and being properly engaged.
- Fewer tension headaches. If you walk with your head held up, not bending forward, it can help reduce neck strain, which may lead to fewer tension headaches.
- Better balance. When you walk properly with the correct posture, it may help improve your balance and make you less prone to falling.
Posture is the first step for walking comfort and energy. Good walking posture allows you to take full breaths, engage your core muscles, and use your leg and buttock muscles for a natural walking stride. It is also an antidote to the hunching and slouching many people do at work and when using a mobile phone.
Bad walking posture can contribute to aches and pains after walking, while great walking posture can relieve them. At the start of every walk, take a few seconds to set your walking posture.
Steps for Great Walking Posture
- Stand up straight with your feet together a comfortable space apart. Your toes should be pointed forward, but if a slight angle is acceptable.
- Imagine a string attached to the top of your head. Feel it lift you up from your hips so you are tall and straight. Do not lean forward or backward.
- Don’t arch your back.
- Suck in your stomach slightly, engaging your core muscles. This will help maintain proper posture while walking.
- Tuck in your buttocks by rotating your hip slightly forward. This keeps you from arching your back or leaning forward.
- Focus your eyes 20 feet ahead of you. Your head will follow where your eyes are looking.
- Keep your chin parallel to the ground. You probably already corrected this by looking 20 feet ahead of you, but take a moment to check that your chin isn’t tilted either up or down. Walking with your head down (as when checking your mobile phone) puts a strain on your neck, as does craning your neck backward.
- Shrug your shoulders and let them relax, with your shoulders slightly back. This will help relieve the tension so many people carry in our shoulders. It will also set your position for using arm motion. Now you have the right posture to get started walking.
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