Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to fit a little extra exercise into your day. To really get the most out of walks, it's best to use proper form to reap all the benefits. Health.com created a great little how-to on the basics of walking the fitness walk. Here are highlights to think about the next time you're strutting your stuff:
- Head: Look straight ahead, not down at the ground.
- Arms: Relax your arms by your sides and swing them front to back, not out to the sides; your hands shouldn’t come up higher than your breastbone. On hills, bend your arms to 90 degrees for more pumping power.
- Hips and waist: Stand tall and keep your hips positioned directly above your feet. Don’t lean forward or back from the waist, even when going up hills (although it’s OK to sit back slightly when heading downhill, as long as you keep your weight over your feet).
- Legs: Stick with your natural stride length to help avoid shin pain, the most common complaint among walkers. To increase your speed, focus on taking quicker steps, not longer ones.
- Feet: Land on your heel first, then roll through to the ball of your foot.