** Photo by Farhan Abid at https://unsplash.com/photos/uj6Vz-TH2V4
Tips given to my students are often taken on board whilst the same tips give to certain family members are disregarded until they appear on a website or video link – expecially if the link is “verified” via “esteemed” sources.
So it has been, of late, with tips for walking. Many of us are trying to walk more now, if we can. A sensory approach to yoga practice improves many aspects of functional movement, which are transferrable to everyday life. We try to “take our yoga off the mat”. While it is not easy to take a structured/held yoga pose into the office, car journey or walk near home, it is possible to take awareness of an active and stable foot with us. Noticing how that provides sequential activation of postural muscles; of support – something that many of us need right now.
- The push off by the back foot is essential to move forward open ankle is key
- Lengthening and spreading the toes – distributes the “load”
- Good placement of the supporting foot – produces a smooth and efficient swing at the “toe off” phase – when the toes leave the ground the the back leg swings forward
All given and more to the above mentioned family members. A “Eureka” moment came, however, when this clip was viewed:
All useful clip. I would add:
- Reducing the stride for those with “niggly” backs may be helpful. If you generally sit quite a lot , the psoas major may be a bit tight and overstriding may cause a “tug” on the lumbar.
- The “push off” phase – try to imagine that someone is behind you and you are trying to show them as much of the sole of your trainer/boot as you can.
- Lace shoes/boots to suit your foot so that the heel is in the best position for the “heel strike”, the first phase of our walking gait.– This prevents foot slide; toes do not become cramped at the front and the musculature of the foot can work well.
Walking is undoubtedly beneficial to our health. A 2016 study by Stanford University is one of many that links walking to strengthened neurological and physiological pathways. Urban polution is a little less damaging at present and walking may be more enjoyable in towns and cities. in 2019 an Irish neuroscientist wrote “In Praise of Walking” also highlighting strong links between the brain health and walking. Shane O’Mara presents:
………… a “motor-centric” view of the brain – that it evolved to support movement and, therefore, if we stop moving about, it won’t work as well……..
We all, kind of know this I suppose, but we don’t take as much notice until such is quoted by a “reliable source”.
I can reliably inform you that the family member is now noticing, listening. Perhaps taking tips onboard will be next. The Stanford Study suggested that walking may improve creativity. Apparently, walking and talking is good because we are “multi-tasking” – moving, talking, looking around, avoiding obstacles. Great that we can still walk in pairs. William Wordsworth, however, seemed content to talk to daffodils. There is hope.