Gait Velocity (proper walking) is an indicator of health in old age.
Written by: Phil Kriss
Therefore, one of the best things you can do to avoid being a shuffling old person prone to falls, fractures and many other health issues can be helped by simply walking for 20 minutes a day. During those walks people should be in as upright posture as possible, taking long strides with a big arm swing. The science behind it is not only cardio vascular, but it will work to maintain the cross-crawl patters we learned when we learned to crawl as a babies, but loose as we age.
Then I recalled moments when I pushed myself on the run enough that I was broken and turned into that shuffling old man. YUK! I will do almost anything to avoid that. So, I took up walking as prescribed for 20 minutes a day, only to find out I kind of sucked as a walker!
In addition to the above benefits, would it not be beneficial to be able to walk a 13-minute mile instead of a 18 minute mile in a long distance event?
There are those in the crowd who can run a marathon without stopping, but most of us can’t or don’t. A few poor miles in a race can kill your total time quickly. To maintain an aggressive walking pace not only would help the time but help your heart rate recover setting you up for a strong finish. It would keep the time up and avoid the stall and following stiffness that is so hard to recover from.
Then I took my new found skill home and started secretly working on it with other family members only to find it has other huge benefits. What do people who walk together usually do? Talk! I don’t know about you all, but when I walk my mouth moves as much as my arms and legs do. How beneficial is that to relationships and stress relief?
Many of us sit way too much in a slumped over position. Technology…computers…cell phones...all pose a health risk which we are all involved in. The posture (or should I say anti posture) effects of too much sitting looking down has huge health consequences over time. Aggressive walking in an upright position could do wonders to combat the effects of too much sitting.
So, chill out for a bit. Grab the spouse or significant other. Grab the kid. Grab the dog. Go out for a walk. Walk with arm and leg swings from your fingertips to your toes. Stand upright in your tallest position possible and be prepared to share and hear an earful. It’s good for you even though it may be uncomfortable. Chances are high the routines of life rob of the things that are most important. Focus on the basics and the fancy high performance issues improve as well.
Phil Kriss is a Chiropractor, Husband, Father, Athlete, and a good force in the world. Find him at www.krisschiro.com, @krisschiro