Learning How to Walk Properly

Believe it or not you could be walking all wrong.

If you suffer lower back pain and swollen ankles don’t blame your footwear, health experts say it could be that you simply don’t know how to walk properly.

Enter: walking lessons.

If your doctor recommends walking lessons to relieve your pain don’t be insulted. According to health experts, walking classes really work. Most walking classes are offered through yoga centers and include private instruction by a trained professional.

For example, the Yoga Center of Brooklyn in Brooklyn, New York offers a 10-session program that runs about six months. Students in the class learn helpful techniques such as walking with their feet parallel, their weight evenly distributed, and their bodies properly aligned.

Most walking teachers say in general Americans are clueless when it comes to proper stepping. They note that most adults have poor posture, which affects the way they stroll. For example, if you suffer from back pain there is a good possibility that you lean away from the pain. That in turn affects the way you hold your body and the way you walk. In such cases, walking instructors say they would encourage their students to place the weight on all four corners of their feet rather than leaning in the direction of the pain.

Doctors say most postural problems happen when the body’s muscles don’t perform their intended job. For example, people who don’t use their stomach muscles when they walk often suffer pain because they are forcing their back muscles to compensate. The goal of the walking classes is to make subtle realignments in the rest of the body, like pushing the inner thighs back and untucking the tailbone. Such adjustments may seem minor, but walking teachers say they can make a big difference for some individuals.

Would you consider taking a walking class?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.