NCTV Episode 47
Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-
- What the correct technique should be
- The health benefits of adopting the right posture
- What to do
- What not to do
- A puffin
If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-
Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 47 which is on the topic of How To Walk Properly or how to achieve the correct gait to put it technically.
With life being far more sedentary for some than it usually is with Covid Lockdown Version 3 at the moment in the UK and especially so given that it’s still the deep dark Winter, you could be forgiven for forgetting how to actually walk properly. However, we are now emerging from that in the latter part of February, the days are getting longer, brighter and temperatures are slowly rising, a perfect time to awaken from hibernation, get out there and experience the great outdoors with some local walks (socially distanced of course, if need be).
Believe it or not, there is a bit of art to walking if you want to maintain good posture and avoid any unnecessary aches, pains, strains and sprains. Walking with the right technique can also reduce wear and tear on your muscles and joints, reduce fatigue and increase your balance. Some of the other benefits include:-
- More energy. Walking with poor posture isn’t efficient, whereas walking with good form can conserve your energy.
- Better lung health. Walking tall with your shoulders back allows your lungs to expand fully, making breathing easier and more efficient.
- Improved circulation. When your body is properly aligned and moving correctly, it makes it easier for your blood to circulate to all parts of your body.
- Improved digestion. Your body is better able to digest your food when your internal organs aren’t compressed and there’s healthy blood flow to your digestive tract.
- Greater core strength. Your abdominal muscles benefit from walking tall and being properly engaged.
- Fewer tension headaches. If you walk with your head help up, not bending forward, it can help reduce neck strain, which may lead to fewer tension headaches.
Walking correctly is not difficult but it does involve being mindful on how you move. On that note, here are six tips on how to walk correctly:-
- Keep Your Head Up – When you’re walking, focus on standing tall with your chin parallel to the ground and your ears aligned above your shoulders. Imagine your head being pulled up gently by an invisible piece of string that’s attached to the ceiling. This may help prevent you from dropping your head into your chest while you walk. Keep your eyes and gaze forward and focus on an area about 10 to 20 feet ahead of you while you walk.
- Lengthen Your Back – Focus on elongating your spine while you walk. Try to avoid slouching, hunching, or leaning forward, which can put stress on your back muscles.
- Keep Your Shoulders Back And Down – Your shoulders also play a key role in your walking posture and technique. If your shoulders are tense or hunched forward, it can strain the muscles and joints in your shoulders, neck and upper back. To ensure that your shoulders are correctly aligned while you’re walking, do the following:
– a) Bring your shoulders up high in a shrug-like motion, then let them fall and relax. Using shoulder shrugs helps relieve tightness or tension, and puts your shoulders in a natural position that allows you to move your arms easily.
– b) Try to keep your shoulders loose and relaxed, not tensed up toward your ears or slouched forward. You can do shoulder shrugs or rolls occasionally while you’re walking to ensure that you’re keeping your shoulders relaxed and in the right position.
- Engage Your Core – Your core muscles also play an important role when you’re walking, and help you move more easily. As you take each step, focus on tightening and engaging your core muscles by pulling your belly button in toward your spine. This can help you maintain balance and stability. It can also relieve stress and pressure on your back as you walk.
- Swing Your Amrs – As you walk, gently swing your arms back and forth at your sides. Make sure you swing your arms from your shoulders, not from your elbows. Don’t swing your arms across your body swing them up too high, keeping them around your midsection and not your chest.
- Step From Heel To Toe – Maintain a steady heel-to-toe gait. This involves striking the ground with your heel first, then rolling through your heel and slightly on the outside outside of your foot to the ball of foot and pushing out of the step with your big toe. Avoid flat-footed steps or striking the ground with your toes first.
So those are the things to work on to improve your walking posture and now here are 5 things not to do if you want to prevent injuries and wear & tear on your muscles and joints:-
- Don’t look down. Looking down at your feet or phone too frequently can put unnecessary strain on your neck.
- Don’t take very long strides. Your power comes from pushing off your rear leg. Research has shown that overstriding can put too much stress on your lower leg joints.
- Don’t roll your hips. Your hips should stay as level as possible while you walk.
- Don’t slouch. As mentioned, to avoid back and shoulder strain, keep your shoulders down and back when walking or standing, and focus on keeping your spine elongated.
- Don’t walk in the wrong shoes. If you’re going to be walking for more than a few minutes at a time, be sure to wear shoes that fit comfortably, have good arch and heel support, and are well cushioned to absorb the shock of your feet hitting the ground.
So in summary, if you manage to incorporate these things into your walking you can be safe in the knowledge that you are contributing to improving your balance and stability, reducing muscle aches and fatigue and preventing back, neck, hip and leg pain whilst also your keeping your bones and joints aligned properly, decreasing the wear and tear on them and reducing the overall risk of injury. Who wouldn’t want that?
That’s it for this week, see you next time for some more bitesize tips to help your health flourish.
Bye for now.