Right gait and posture

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SURE STEPS We walk with our legs and arms too!
SURE STEPS We walk with our legs and arms too!

There is scope for improvement in the way you Walk, says HEMJITH BHARATHAN

You may be walking everyday and feeling good about yourself for being regular and steadfast. But though you may be a walking enthusiast are you walking in the right manner? Walking the right way makes one healthier and increases fitness level, endurance etc. But walking the wrong way is not just wasted exertion and time but it can have adverse effects on our health even causing injury. So how do we know we are walking right? Any exercise needs a warm up. Walking easily and slowly for the first few minutes as a warm up before falling in step with your brisk pace is a good way to start. Another important factor is our posture while walking. Jeejo Joseph, a physiotherapist advises, “our body should be straight and shoulders relaxed. Leaning forward or backward takes away the health benefits of walking and can result in back pain. Hold your chin up, keep your head erect and focus your eyes ten feet away. Looking down while walking strains the neck, back and shoulders causing stiffness etc.”

Holding your head high sure elevates your mood, spirit and attitude. Walking is an interesting mechanism that includes not just our legs but our arms too. Arm movements counterbalance leg movements. Using the arms effectively can add power to one’s walking. Walking without arm motions is a mistake. But swinging the arms too much is also a mistake. When you try to walk faster our natural tendency is to take longer steps. However fitness experts say it is healthier to take quick shorter steps instead of taking longer strides that may tire you soon. Over striding also leads to an awkward, forced gait and makes one breathless. Chances of sore feet and injury are higher as the feet hit hard on the ground when over striding

If you warm up with stretching exercises it is recommended to repeat them after your walk too.

Invest in a good pair of walking shoes that are comfortable, shock absorbent to protect feet from injury and tear caused by rough surface, recommend all walking veterans. Avoid plugging in ipods, headphones etc. Leave them behind. Instead listen to the sounds of nature when walking.

Finally smile. It’s sure to add that extra bounce and spring in your walk.

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