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Is Your Stride as You Would Like It?

By Tom Herrin

Some people have a naturally good stride when they walk.  Others have a pretty bad one.  The kind of stride they have may have a lot to do with how easily they walk.  Most people have seen people who appear to labor whenever they walk.  It may appear to be a struggle with every step they take.  This is not likely a choice, but it is something that they have developed over a period of time.  Those small quirks that someone may have as a child sometimes turn into a lifelong glitch that makes walking a real chore.

Work on Posture

Whatever kind of physical activity people become involved in, the way they hold their body while doing it is important.  The same holds true for walking.  Holding the body more upright is a key factor.  When people are slumped, they may have poorer breathing and more aches and pains.  Along with this, it is helpful to keep the head and chin pretty level to the ground.  Looking ahead and focusing on a point about 20 feet ahead may help to accomplish this.  It has also been suggested that shrugging the shoulders, then relaxing them and holding them slightly back may be another good practice.

The Way the Feet Make Contact Can Make a Difference

People often struggle with their stride.  Many may feel extremely beat up as they walk.  A good method is thought to be to strike the ground with the heels first followed by rolling across the foot and pushing off with the toes.  The longer the foot is in contact with the ground, the better it may be.  Much of the propulsion in walking may come from this pushing off.  Some people make the mistake of trying to increase their reach ahead.  This is considered to be a bad practice.

Share a Walk 

If you are trying to get into a walking program, it may be helpful to walk with a companion.  Not only can you keep each other company, but you can also help to make observations about one another's form and style.  This can be constructive in making improvements.  As we set goals and work to be better at our walking, we will surely be more successful.  I have found that with a few small adjustments to my walking style, it is much more useful to me as a form of exercise.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sparks, Nev.

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