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Improve Your Walking Technique for Maximum Benefits!

Are you looking for ways to make certain you get the most out of your walk? Walking is a fabulous way to clear your head.  Cruising along briskly in the fresh air can double as meditation time during which you can reflect on the positive things as well as getting in some good movement and exercise.  Just so you get maximum benefit with minimal issues with your walking routines, we’ve  created a walking awareness checklist to help you get started!

No one wants to add unnecessary strain to body parts that don’t need it. Besides, a sloppy posture increases your risk of injuring yourself. By delegating some of the work to your abdominal and hip muscles, you can walk faster and more efficiently, reduce your risk of injury, and eliminate much of walking’s joint-jarring impact. With fewer pains and strains, you might even walk farther. And that means you’ll burn more calories – and who doesn’t love that idea?

Here are some simple reminders of items to be aware of during your next walk and every walk:

Intentionally engage your butt and thigh muscles:  
As you prepare to take a step, focus on your trailing leg, creating a crease where your butt and thigh meet by lifting your cheek and tightening your hamstring. Continue to use those muscles as you bring that leg forward. Notice how your inner thigh muscles keep your knee pointed forward and stabilize your leg.

Toes Forward:  
When you walk, allow your heel to strike first, then push off from the big toe, flexing at the ankle. Walking with your toes pointed our causes stress on your knees, so keep them pointed forward for a safer stride.

Pull your navel toward your spine:  
Your abdominal muscles will form additional stability when holding your stomach in, and your movements will be more controlled too (it also helps create great abs). As you walk, let your arms swing, but try not to swivel your torso, because your torsos job is to support movement.

Be proud and hold your head high:  
Walking forward headfirst creates unnecessary stress in your neck and throws off your balance. Walk as if you are a puppet and imagine there is a string attached to the top of your head keeping your head up – or – pretend as though you have a stack of books on your head that you are attempting to balance. This distributes the force of gravity along the natural curve of your spine.

Relax your shoulders:  
Position your shoulders back and down. Concentrate on not shrugging or hunching them as this is also bad for your back and spine.

Make your walking time a top priority not to be compromised even if it’s on lunch breaks or walking home from work.  Your body and brain will enjoy the extra oxygen you take in and afterward you’ll feel happier and more calm.  Be conscientious of your form, your movements, and your walking posture. The awareness will help you move your body in a healthier way and create long lasting, skinny life results!

Happy walking!

About Crystal Dwyer Hansen
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