The mechanics of walking may not be emphasized enough as you go about your day to day activities. Do you notice that some people seem to age more gracefully than others? Are you on your feet all day at work and come home to more demands? Are your feet killing you and is your whole body is sore? Have you ever considered the way you are walking and how this makes you feel and look? We would like to propose that there is a big impact on how you feel because of the way you are walking.
Our feet are the foundation for the rest of the body. No other body part has the impact on posture or body alignment as the foot. What happens in the foot will translate to the rest of our bodies. Walking incorrectly can create detrimental problems and have negative effects on your well-being. These related issues include Plantar Fasciitis, ball of foot pain, heel pain, back pain and just feeling tired when you are on your feet all day and other various ailments.
Some common reasons people seem to walk incorrectly include poor footwear that restricts your foot’s natural movement, and lack of understanding of how you should walk. If you think about it, you were cheered on by your parents when you started walking but most of us do not really know how to walk so the foot works well and we feel better.
Here are three recommendations to get you back on track to walking properly:
- Roll through the feet. The foot is designed to be like a rocker when it is on the ground. There are three elements at work: the heel is shaped to rock the body forward, the ankle bends, and the toes bend to allow the body to move forward. Many of us will not be able to do this properly unless the foot has enough movement to allow this motion.
- Wear shoes with flexibility behind the toes. The foot should be able to bend without restriction. Look for shoes that are still from the heel to just behind the toes and then bend easily at the ball of the foot just behind the toes. Rigid soled shoes and rocker shoes restrict the natural movement of the foot and should be avoided if possible. Also, avoid shoes that have no stability through the middle of the foot. See our shoe selection guideline on-line to help you select the proper shoe.
- Do not shuffle when you walk. Walk like you mean it! Stand up straight and move your arms when you are walking. Just like riding a bicycle, you will feel more stable with a better balance at a higher rate of speed than when you are going very slowly.
Walking properly is an intentional effort. Follow these instructions and notice the difference in how you feel and look. Step better and feel better.