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  • 10 Walking Mistakes – Are You Walking Wrong?

    Original article posted on www.verywellfit.com.
     Walking with straight arms and overstriding – two mistakes in one!. Maxime Laurent/Getty Images

    Walking the right way can give you better health, fitness, and attitude. It can help you walk faster and more smoothly.

    Walking the wrong way can lead to wasted effort or even injury, not to mention ridicule. Here are the 10 walking technique mistakes to avoid.

    You will see many, many examples of people who think they are doing a great power walking stride when, in fact, they are doing themselves no good at all. For example, our model above is walking with straight arms and overstriding. These do her no good and we’ll tell you why.

    1. Walking Mistake – Overstriding

    When walkers try to walk faster, a natural inclination is to lengthen your stride in front, reaching out farther with your forward foot. This leads to a clumsy, ungainly gait, striking hard with the feet and shin pain. The Cure for over-striding is to focus on increasing you power on your back leg and foot. Try This:

    • Shorter, Quicker Steps: If you are trying to walk fast, concentrate on taking shorter, quicker steps.
    • Roll Through, Push Off: Then think of really rolling through your step with your back foot and leg, getting a good push off.


    2.The Wrong Shoes

    Not all “walking shoes” are good for walking. Avoid shoes that are:

    • Heavy: Walking shoes should be lightweight, while still providing support and cushioning.
    • Stiff: If your shoes have soles that won’t bend at all and you can’t twist them, they are too stiff for fitness walking. Walking shoes should be flexible so you don’t fight them as your foot rolls through the step.
    • Over 1 year old: The cushioning and support in your shoes degrade over time. You should replace your shoes every 500 miles.
    • Too small: Your feet swell when you take a sustained walk. Your walking shoes should be larger than your dress shoes if you walk for 30 minutes or more for exercise. Do you need bigger shoes?

    This will help to limit you potential for developing plantar fasciitis, muscle pulls and knee problems. If available to yu, get fitted for the right shoes at a technical running shoe store in your area.


    3. Arm Motion

    It’s a walking mistake to keep your arms still at your sides while walking or swing them without bending them. It is also a mistake to move your arms wildly and without control.

    It is natural to move your arms while walking to counterbalance your leg motion. But if you keep your arms stiff and straight at your sides, they act like a long pendulum, slowing you down. You can add power and speed by using your arms effectively and more naturally, by bending them and letting them swing naturally forward and back as you walk. If you keep your arms straight down at your sides while walking, you may notice that your hands swell quite a bit while walking, especially in warm weather.

    Moving your hands drastically can cause you to waste energy on your walk.

    Proper arm Motion

    • Bend your arms 90 degrees and swing them naturally back and forth opposite the leg motion. Your hand should reach from the side of your cheek to the back pocket on a pair of jeans.
    • Keep your elbows relatively close to your body and swing naturally.
    • Your feet will generally move as fast as your arms.



     4. Walking with Your Head Down

    Whether engaging in checking your phone or staring at your feet, walking with your head down can create bad posture habits that will transcend into your daily life.

    The Cure: Look up!

    Good posture for walking allows you to breathe well and provides a long body line to prevent problems with your back, neck, and shoulders.

    Chin up when walking – it should be parallel to the ground.

    Your eyes should focus on the street or track 10 – 20 feet ahead. You’ll avoid doggy doo-doo, find cracks in the sidewalk, spot potential muggers, and still collect the occasional coin.
    Walking Posture

    While our mobile phones provide a wealth of information and keep us connected, it’s best to keep them securely in a pocket while walking. Get bluetooth earbuds that allow you to control your music and take or make calls while walking without needing to manipulate your mobile phone.


    5.  Leaning

    Whether you’re leaning too far foreword or too far back, hold your back swayed is not an efficient or proper walking technique! This can all result in back pain, slow walking pace and poor technique

    The Cure for Leaning While Walking?

    • Stand up straight but with relaxed shoulders, chin up and parallel to the ground. Think about walking tall. Think of pulling your belly button backwards.
    • Your back should have a natural curve, do not force it into an unnatural sway with behind out back stomach out forward.
    • Strengthen your abdominal muscles through sit-ups and other exercises so you are able to hold yourself straighter.

    Our model here has great walking posture as well as keeping her head up and good arm motion.

            We are trained experts on analyzing the mistakes you might be making while walking and can do a Gait Analysis to find out what mistakes you’re making, and create a plan to get you to walking safely and correctly.

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