Walking correctly: What you should pay attention to

Walking correctly: What you should pay attention to
Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels

Walking correctly needs to be learned – because an incorrect gait pattern can quickly lead to pain and orthopedic problems. We tell you how you can walk better.

Walking correctly has nothing to do with speed. If you walk correctly, you put optimal strain on your joints. If, on the other hand, you walk incorrectly, this can lead to tension or problems in the back and knees. Because walking is not as easy as you might think: Walking is a very individual process, which is why everyone has their own gait.

How someone walks depends on their physical condition, life circumstances and individual walking techniques. So far, however, there are no universally valid studies or clear research results on which gear is the right one. What is certain, however, is that walking is good for us humans. Even studies show that. Among other things, it’s possible that regular walking can improve your mood and even lengthen your life. However, you should be careful to do it correctly.

Walking correctly: Posture is also important

Posture is also important when walking correctly.
Posture is also important when walking correctly.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / MabelAmber)

From an orthopedic point of view, our gait should be slightly springy, erect, with our head held high and our gaze forward. Correct posture is therefore essential for correct walking. The left-right symmetry of our body should not be underestimated. You can actively do something to improve your posture when walking:

  • Make sure you walk upright. Your shoulder blades should point backwards. So your posture is not hunched, your neck is relaxed.
  • Wave your arms slightly to walk properly. Until you start walking, your arms should be able to swing freely. This creates a spiral rotation that relieves the body: the upper body and arms always rotate in the opposite direction to the pelvis, legs and feet.
  • If you want to walk properly, you should avoid handbags – especially those that you wear diagonally across your body. Physiotherapist Thomas Rogall, who runs a foot school in Munich, also advises this. Because bags block you while running just like a smartphone that you are carrying in your hand. That’s because your arm can’t swing properly. This upsets the balance in your body.

Walking correctly: note step length and positioning technique

Small steps support correct walking.
Small steps support correct walking.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / distelAPPArath)

Not only does posture play an important role in walking correctly, but also how long your stride is and how you put your foot down. This explains, among other things, the specialist Dr. Martin Rinio from the Gundelfingen Joint Clinic.

And this is how walking can succeed:

  • Avoid strides that are too big, as they will cause you to straighten your knee. As a result, the step is not sufficiently cushioned. This not only puts a strain on your knees, the vibration can even extend up to your spine.
  • Try not to land on the back end of the heel. Again, there is a lack of sufficient cushioning. This can be the case, especially if you goose step fast. It is better if you put your foot down flat and land on the fatty tissue below your heel. This tissue acts as a shock absorber for your body. When you sit down flat, the knee is also in a slightly bent position, which also acts as a buffer for the joint.
  • Try to load your foot evenly when you put it down and not just roll over the ball of your big toe. Shift your weight to the entire foot from the ball of your little toe to the ball of your big toe. This ten seesaw gives you momentum.

Incidentally, the best way to change an unhealthy gait is to consciously focus on walking. You can better avoid instability by walking with concentration. It can still take a while until you have internalized the new gait. It’s important that you stick with it anyway. However, if you simply do not want to succeed or if you have persistent problems with walking, you can also contact an orthopedic or physiotherapeutic practice.

Read more on Techzle.com:

  • Nordic Walking: effects, techniques and tips
  • Cracking joints: why and if it’s unhealthy
  • Cross your legs – why you shouldn’t do it

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