6 common walking mistakes you might be making

By Huong Duong   April 4, 2024 | 03:16 pm PT
According to Best Life, people commonly encounter mistakes such as swinging arms incorrectly, gazing downwards at the pavement, or walking excessively when engaging in walking for fitness.

1. Swinging arms incorrectly

People might overlook the role of their arms while walking, yet experts indicate that incorrect arm movement can significantly influence balance and posture.

To perform this correctly, your arms should swing gently and naturally. Coordinate the extension of one arm with the opposite leg, then alternate with the next step.

2. Gazing at the ground while walking

Research suggests that looking ahead helps maintain balance and posture on uneven terrain. Nonetheless, habitually focusing on the ground or your phone while walking can lead to tension in the neck and chest, resulting in back and neck discomfort and promoting a poor posture for walking.

Experts suggest that walkers should look about five meters ahead while walking and hold their heads high.

3. Walking too much when starting out

The benefits of walking are maximized when it is practiced regularly. Hence, it's crucial to avoid overexertion too early, which could lead to fatigue and deter future efforts.

A person walking. Illustration photo by Unsplash

A person walking. Illustration photo by Unsplash

4. Carrying an overly heavy backpack or bag

Rucking, the activity of carrying extra weight in a backpack over long distances, can enhance the effectiveness of walking. Yet, an ill-fitting backpack can strain key muscle groups.

It is also vital to avoid carrying a backpack on one shoulder or using heavy tote bags or purses for extended walks. The uneven weight distribution can lead to pain and asymmetrical strain on the back and shoulders, potentially causing persistent discomfort or injuries.

5. Taking too long strides

While there are numerous strategies to augment the intensity of walking for better results, a common error is taking strides that are too long, which can lead to increased stress on the back and result in various types of stress, muscle strains, and injuries.

Instead of overstriding, it is recommended to focus on increasing your cadence, or the number of steps taken per minute.

6. Opting for wrong footwear

For items like shoes intended for long walks, in-store purchases are recommended over online ones. It is recommended to choose footwear that offers strong arch support, sufficient cushioning, and the ability to absorb shock.

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