Top 10 Walking Mistakes
1. Over Striding:
When walkers try to walking briskly they tend to lengthen their stride in front, reaching out further with their leading foot. This creates a clumsy walk that is painful on your shins.
Correction: Try taking quicker or shorter steps, or concentrate on using your back leg to push off and lengthen your stride versus reaching with the front foot.
2. The Wrong Shoes:
If your shoes are heavy, thick soled, over one year old, and are too small when walking, you are wearing the wrong shoes for any type of physical activity.
Correction: Get fitted at a technical running shoe store where the shoe experts can provide the right walking shoe for you.
3. Flapping, Slapping Feet:
If your feet land with a slap, you land flat footed and get no roll, and you develop shin pain after exercise (your foot is flattening prematurely). This could be the cause of improperly fitted shoes, or weak shins.
Correction: Get a flexible shoe that bends at the ball of your foot. A running shoe with a low heel typically provides this type of support.
4. No Arms:
You don’t move your arms while walking or there is no bend in your arms. This usually causes significant swelling in the hands upon completion of walking.
Correction: Bend your arms 90 degrees and swing them naturally back and forth opposite the leg motion. This adds power and speed to the walk.
5. Chicken Winging:
Your arms bend and swing while you walk but they end up being all over the place. They may cross the center of your body and extend out to endanger a passerby.
Correction: Keep your elbows close to your body and your arms mostly back and forward. Your hands should never cross the center of your body and should come up no further than your breasts. The correct arm movement is not only far less silly, it also allows you to walk more powerfully.
6. Head Down:
You are always looking down at your feet.
Correction: Look up! Your chin should parallel to the ground when walking. Creating good posture while walking will not only help you breathe better, but it will reduce the chance of experiencing back pain in the future.
You lean forward or backward more than 5 degrees.
Correction: Walk while thinking “tall and lean”. This will decrease any back pain that may occur after walking.
8. The Wrong Clothes:
You walk at night wearing dark clothing with no reflectors. You overdress in too many layers, or under dress without enough layers.
Correction: Purchase a reflective vest to wear while walking at night or attach Velcro reflectors to your night time walking clothing. It is always a good idea to wear multiple reflectors so traffic can see you from all angles. Avoid wearing cotton as it traps in sweat and doesn’t allow your skin to breath. Instead, choose a fabric such as CoolMax or polypropylene that will allow the sweat to evaporate from your skin. If chillier weather exists, an outer layer consisting of a shirt or sweatshirt can be worn over, with the option to take the extra layer off if beginning to feel over-heated. In case of cold weather, wear a water proof jacket over top of your shirt or sweatshirt. Don’t forget to wear some sort of hat to protect you from the cold and the sun’s harmful rays.
9. Not Drinking Enough:
You don’t drink enough water before, during and after walking.
Correction: As a rule of thumb, drink a cup of water for every 20 minutes that you walk. This may need to be adjusted according to the climate and sweating rate of the walker. Avoid caffeinated beverages before walking, so that you are starting your walk hydrated.
You over walk yourself and have become tired, and unenthused with your routine.
Correction: Take a break. Give your body a break so it has time to repair, build up muscles and store energy for the next time you venture out.