When June comes around and you finally decide to fulfill your New Year's resolution to get in shape by taking some regular walks, you should learn how to walk properly before you head out and hurt yourself. Even everyday walking puts some strain on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Walking for a long period of time to get exercise will only exaggerate this strain, unless you learn how to keep the proper form when you walk. Walking properly not only means how to step with your foot, but also how to position your back, chest, shoulders and arms.
- Keep your back straight and your chest up. Concentrate on keeping your back up while you walk, since poor posture will quickly injure your back.
- Hold your shoulders back and have your elbows at 90 degree angles. Your hands should be out in front of you, and you will swing them when you walk.
- Place the heel of one foot a few inches in front of you. Shift your weight onto the foot as you roll on top of it.
- Continue to roll the foot as you pass over it. Roll up on the ball of the foot as you propel yourself forward.
- Stick your next foot out to catch you as you move forward. Land on the heel of that foot and continue to repeat this process. Don't take long strides, as more frequent short strides will be a more effective workout and will take less of a toll on your body.
- Swing your arms as you walk. Make sure that you keep your elbows at 90 degree angles. Swing you arms toward the center of your body, but don't cross either arm over to the other side.