Walking Mistakes You Should Avoid
By Sara Butler
Walking is a great form of exercise. It’s low impact, easy to do just about anywhere, and can really get your heart pumping! Because it’s so easy for almost everyone, people tend to take it less seriously than other forms of exercise. How much preparation do you really need to walk a couple of miles when you’ve been walking every day since you were a baby, right? Not so fast. There are some major mistakes people make when walking for exercise – here’s how to avoid them.
You Don’t Warm Up
Walking is exercise! And because it’s exercise it means you have to take the time to prepare your body in order to lower your risk of injury. To warm up properly, walk at a comfortable pace for about five minutes, then stop to stretch your major muscle groups. After that, get walking!
Sticking to Familiar Trails
It’s quite OK to have a favorite walking path but you also have to be willing to switch things up from time to time in order to push yourself and see results. You need variation in the terrain your traverse to help challenge different groups of muscles. Incorporate some intervals into your walk such as switching speeds every few minutes and trying a different path. This will help you from stalling at a plateau and keep you from experiencing the worst things a walker can – burnout!
Walking should not feel as if it’s hard on your body – unless your posture is poor. Every step you pound with your feet sends shockwaves up your body. When you have bad form, you’ll have muscle working overtime at jobs they’re not meant to do. That will eventually cause injury and create muscle imbalance.
For better walking posture you should imagine a string coming out the top of your head. Now imagine that string is being pulled straight up, lifting our head and pushing your chest out. Your back shouldn’t be hunched and you should try to keep looking straight ahead as you pump your arms and engage your core muscles as well as your glutes!
Walking is a great form of exercise and can be effective as long as it’s done right! Take the time to prepare and you’ll be on your way to better health and wellness in no time!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodland Hills, Calif.