Do you notice that some people seem to age more gracefully than others? As in, some people just seem to look a lot younger than they actually are. For some, this is simply genetics but for many, it’s about how they cared for themselves. As we have said before, it is ultimately up to us to take care of ourselves.
As we age, our posture seems to suffer. No one is exempt from the effects of aging and gravity. However, we can take control of how much these take its toll and how quickly it will affect us. We choose the way we walk and stand, which greatly contributes to how we age. This all starts with our feet.
Our feet is the foundation for the rest of the body. No other body part is expected to handle the full force of what we do. Our bodies are affected by every step we take. What happens in the foot will translate to the rest of our bodies. This means when you choose to walk incorrectly, this will cause foot and back problems and pain is a sure way to feel old. Some common reasons people seem to walk incorrectly include poor footwear that restricts your foot’s natural movement, laziness and lack of understanding how you should walk. If you think about it, you were cheered on by your parent when you started walking but unless you’re a doctor, no one really tells you what you should and shouldn’t do when you are walking.
So here are three recommendations to get you back on the right foot.
- Roll through the feet. The foot is designed to be a rocker when it is on the ground. There are three elements at work, the heel which is shaped to rock the body forward, the ankle that bends, and the toes that bend to allow the body to move forward. If you have difficulty with balance or flexibility in the big toe, try our Cluffy Wedge.
- Wear shoes with flexibility behind the toes. The big toe should be able to bend without restriction. Rigid soled shoes and rocker shoes restrict the motion of the big toe. Therefore, these should be avoided. Look for shoes that have a rigid sole between the heel and the forefoot to provide stability and allow the flexible parts to bend better. Many traditional athletic shoes are a good choice. Most people should not choose a running shoe that has a different color or density foam to the inside of the heel than the outside. These shoes are not often necessary when walking, and can actually cause you to walk too much on the outside of the foot. Instead, choose a shoe that has the same foam on the inside and outside of the heel. This is called a neutral shoe and will not bias you to the outside of your foot. This will make it easier for you to roll through the foot properly.
- 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 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.