The Big Mistake You're Making While Walking
By Krista Elliott
When thinking that someone is a bit snobby, it used to be said that they “walk around with their nose in the air.” You don’t hear that expression much anymore. Part of the reason might be that nobody walks around with their nose in the air. Instead, our heads are permanently tilted downward, either looking at the ground or looking at our phones. And this poor walking posture is doing a real number on our joints.
We put some thought into our posture when we’re standing, or when we’re sitting, mostly because of long-suffering ergonomics experts, medical professionals and parents who beg us (or yell at us) to stop slouching. But our walking posture is the middle child in the posture family; often overshadowed, even though it’s no less important.
But why IS our walking posture important?
I Walk The Line … Badly
Good walking posture uses the body in a biomechanically correct fashion. Everything stays in alignment, no muscles are strained, and the pressure on your joints is kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t walk properly. Arching the back, thrusting the head forward (or looking down), stuffing your hands in your pockets or keeping them clenched in front of you as you hold your stuff; it all monkeys with your body’s center of gravity. As well, it causes strain on your muscles as they try to correct your self-inflicted imbalance. The results? Discomfort in the short term, and subluxations, shortened muscles and tendons, and a compromised gait in the long term.
Walk This Way
So, how to correct your walking posture? Here are a few tips:
First off, a visit to The Joint Chiropractic should be in order to address and treat any joint restrictions or subluxations that have resulted from poor walking posture. With regular treatment from a chiropractor, your balance and range of motion are improved, helping to improve your gait and posture.
When walking, engage your ab and back muscles a bit instead of leaving them loose and slouchy. This helps your posture.
To banish slumping, you can try an old beauty pageant trick: Imagine you have a strong helium balloon tied to the crown of your head, gently pulling your entire body upward. (Not strongly enough to pull you up on your tiptoes, though.) This trick helps you align your spine and hips, and keeps your head in the right position.
Keep your shoulders square, and let your arms swing gently and naturally with each step.
Land on your heel and push off squarely with your toes, using a stride length that feels natural to you.
And while you’re out walking, why not stop in to The Joint? You don’t need an appointment, and with over 370 nationwide locations, locations are often within walking distance.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.