Even if you’re fit and get in a daily gym workout, you might be undoing all of that hard work with poor posture the rest of the day. Practicing good posture while walking is a great way to strengthen your spine, prevent injuries, and ensure better health and less pain in old age.
It’s something anyone can do, but too many people grow lackluster in their efforts once they leave Zumba or yoga class, unfortunately.
Proper walking techniques should be a priority no matter what your age or fitness level. While this might be something people consider a proper focus for the elderly or injured folks who may depend on top-of-the-line devices for support, walking posture should be everyone’s concern.
When your mother told you to stand up straight, she was onto something.
Arching or rolling your back are common causes of back pain and breathing problems. Imagine your back as a stick while you’re walking.
Avoid leading forward or back, because this puts undue stress and strain on muscles in your back, and this can become chronic over time. Focus on looking about 20 feet ahead of you, not directly forward or down.
As a bonus, this lends to an air of confidence which may help you avoid attackers or pick pockets.
Keep your chin parallel to the ground to minimize neck and back strain. Think of your head as a balloon that floats directly above your neck.
If you tend to collect stress in your shoulders, shrug upward and then roll them down your back, which will pull your shoulder blades together. If you do practice yoga, think of mountain pose while walking.
Beyond the back
Hold in your stomach, and pull your navel toward the spine. Not only will this give your back more of the support it needs, but it also provides an ongoing ab workout.
Finally, tuck your behind a little while rolling your hips forward. This is a good reminder for those who tend to arch their back. Check your posture in reflective windows when you can, and if you have a tendency to pigeon toe or “duck walk” your feet, practice walking straight with heels meeting the ground first.
You might be surprised how much of an impact the ergonomics of day-to-day life can have on you. Keep an eye out for bad habits, such as perpetually hefting a weighty purse on the same shoulder.
Such day-to-day habits can add up to chronic pain and other issues down the road.