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A Good Stride Can Be Learned

By Tom Herrin

There are several important elements involved in walking successfully.  While many may feel that walking right is one of those things that comes naturally, it is not always the case.  Many people have, or develop, bad habits they use in their walking.  Even though they may assume it is one of those things that was with them from the days they were a toddler, walking correctly is one of those things that can be improved with a little effort.  Once they are able to do this successfully, they may find that walking is not nearly the chore that it once seemed to be.  Whoever thought there was much art to it?

The Arms Play a Big Role in the Walk

Anyone who has ever observed birds as they walk will have an appreciation of the importance of counter movement in order for anything to get the most out of their effort.  Trying to walk without moving the arms is a difficult task.  When people walk, whether it be for exercise or simply getting around, arm movement can make the work much smoother.  It is recommended that the elbows be bent at about a 90-degree angle and that the hands be loose.  Keeping the arms relatively close in is better.  Another thing to do is be certain that the alternate rhythm between the hands and feet movement is appropriate.  This can help make for less work.

The Way the Foot Strikes Is Important

Many people beat themselves up when they walk for no good reason except that they just don't pay enough attention.  Striking with the heel first, then smoothly moving across the foot to the toes, may be the best practice.  This allows a person to propel themselves into their next step with the toes.  It also helps to maintain contact with the ground longer, possibly helping to avoid excessive impact from walking.

Walking Should Not Seem Like a Burden

I have had mixed experiences with walking.  There have been times in which it has seemed miserable and times in which it has been quite enjoyable.  When I have been better prepared, it has really been pleasant.  Good shoes and the right form can make  a world of difference.  I look forward to walking and can do it for long periods of time without feeling tired.  If you are looking for a low impact activity, see what you can do by adding a little better form.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bluffton, S.C.

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