I’m a bit obsessed with walking… There are so many health benefits to it and it’s so easy to fit into your day and yet I read a report that said that 45% of people would rather take public transport than a short stroll. And 1 in 20 would use public transport rather than walk for 5 minutes! And yet walking is the easiest way to fit in the suggested amount of exercise we should be doing plus is like medicine for all the health benefits it has!
For those of you, like me, with older kids who really aren’t excited about the prospect of going for a walk (to say the least) I highly recommend Geocaching!! Unlike golf – “a good walk spoiled” (Mark Twain) – geocaching is a good walk made better – by a treasure hunt! Becky even did a talk about it in school this week so must enjoy it more than I thought. You can find out more here
And remember Mums, Tums & Buggies has plenty of walking in it if you fancy joining us!
Walk this way
When I was a kid I walked with very turned in feet. My family did what lots of families do – mocked me for it! So having not seen any kind of specialist I forced myself to walk with straight feet – I now have a twisted shin for my trouble! So it’s always worth working on any of these postural changes incrementally – just play around with how it feels and notice your gait rather than aiming for some big change. And there are plenty of specialists who can help if you need it.
Here are some steps you can start with
- feet should be facing forwards – not turning in or out
- feet bony hip width apart – in standing and when moving. Feet should stay in parallel and your weight shifts slightly from side to side, rather than crossing into centre like you’re walking a tight rope or waddling!
- land mid foot and roll through – your toes should hinge and be the last part to leave the floor
- push backwards with foot – instead of falling forwards you should be using your leg like an oar. So the leg spends most of the time behind the body and swings forward from the hip. Knees shouldn’t be bending that much
Posture is important – the way we walk can have an affect on our pelvis and back health too. For those of you with buggies, try to walk as you would if you weren’t pushing – the number of people I see leaning forward at a 45 angle… Not great for the back and a missed opportunity to work your bum muscles! Your arms should be relaxed and think of the legs driving the movement – so you’re not really pushing at all. Another tip I saw is to use just one arm, and stand off to the side slightly.
The other thing that is worth noting is that the way you walk also depends on the reason for the walk. If like me you’re always rushing on the school run it’s harder to focus on your form. In Germany they’ve actually had to put lights in the pavement so people on their mobile phones know when to stop! Obviously you can’t keep good posture if your chin is dropping onto your chest as you check social media… But also one of the benefits of walking is the chance to think, to look and to be in the moment for once.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” – Friedrich Nietzsche