This Month In Body
  • Walk This Way
    Walking is simple, adaptable, convenient, and has proven to be one of the best ways to exercise. However, there may be things about the way you walk that are slowing your fitness gains. Keep reading to learn how to avoid common walking mistakes so you can get the most out of your walks. Read >>
  • Finding Your Yoga Fit
    An ancient practice that combines physical and mental exercises, yoga is effective at strengthening your muscles and calming your mind. Wondering about your yoga Here are brief description of nine popular styles to try out. Read >>
  • Divide and Conquer
    The goal is to move more, whether you’re working out at the gym or moving more throughout the day. Sneak more exercise into your daily life with these tips. Read >>
  • Exhausted by the Heat
    When it’s hot and humid and you’re exerting yourself, you’re at an increased risk of heat exhaustion. This preventable condition can lead to heatstroke, a heat-related illness that’s life threatening if not treated immediately. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Walk This Way

Did you know there’s a right and wrong way to walk? Get the most out of your walks with these tips.

Walking is simple, adaptable, convenient, and has proven to be one of the best ways to exercise. You don’t need expensive equipment at home or special training to make it happen. You can walk around your neighborhood, on a treadmill at the gym, or up and down stairs in your house. Whether you’re 9 or 90 years old, walking is a great way to stay in shape, fend off disease, and maintain a healthy weight.

Walking, for the most part, comes naturally. Put one foot in front of the other and move forward. However, there may be things about the way you walk that are slowing your fitness gains. Keep reading to learn how to avoid common walking mistakes so you can get the most out of your walks.

Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Every type of shoe is designed for a specific activity. You know high heels aren’t good for walking, but neither are other non-supportive shoes. To avoid injury and ensure optimal support for your feet, wear shoes that are light, breathable, bendable, and have a cushioned heel. Shoes that are too tight may cause blisters or corns. If they’re too loose and your foot slides around, they don’t provide good support. Even though they may look new, shoes lose their support after a year or 500 miles.

Overstriding

In your effort to walk faster, you may lengthen your stride. Don’t! This mistake can make you lose your balance or cause your foot to strike the ground too hard. Your speed shouldn’t come from massive strides. Rather, it should come from the power of pushing off with your back leg. It’s best to take shorter, faster steps.

Moving Arms Too Much or Too Little

The wrong arm movements can slow you down. Keeping your arms still and by your sides, swinging them and not bending them, bending your elbows and swinging your arms from side to side, or swinging your arms so high your fists come up past your chest are all wrong ways to move your arms.

The correct arm movement can increase power and speed to your walk. Keep your arms bent at 90 degrees, let them naturally swing back and forth in time with your stride, and don’t let your hands pass the center of your body or rise above your chest.

Walking with Incorrect Posture

Looking down at your phone or the ground, slumping over, leaning back, or leaning forward are all forms of improper walking posture. Correct posture helps you breathe better and helps prevent injury to your back, shoulders, or neck. As you walk, keep your body upright and your chin up, parallel to the ground. Your eyes should stay focused 10 to 20 feet ahead of you and your shoulders should be down and relaxed.

Not Tracking Progress

Tracking your workouts is especially important for those trying to lose weight or reach specific fitness goals. Use an app or journal to record the length, distance, and frequency of your walks. Seeing how far you’ve gone is a great motivator to go farther. Need motivation? See how long it takes you to walk the distance across your state or across your country. Then track your walking so you can see your progress.

Walking the Same Path Everyday

If your go-to workout is walking, make sure you change things up. Doing the same exercise everyday may lead to boredom or a lack of fitness results. Remember—your muscles and joints need variety for health and strength. If you walk on a flat path every time, add some hills.

Since walking mainly works your leg muscles, it’s smart to cross train. If you walk everyday for exercise, add some strength training and flexibility exercises into your weekly routine that work all muscle groups. Not sure what exercises will best help you meet your health and fitness needs? Ask your trainer!