Even if you don’t exercise, you walk. You walk to your car, to your bed, to the bathroom; we all walk and our bodies are made to walk.
The clinical definition from Katy Bowen http://nutritionousmovement.com states: “The mover has at least one foot on the ground at all times. Human walking should be a mechanical process that moves the pelvis (your center of mass) in a smooth forward moving line.”
What is so great about walking is that it moves your body in all different important ways. Some but not all are as follows:
Upper spine rotation: When our upper spine or thoracic spine rotates it provides movement in the ribs and spinal segments of the spine. When those above mentioned structures do not move well, our breathing is restricted as our lungs require the ribs to expand to facilitate a deeper breath;
Pelvic motion: There is so much motion in the pelvis, it should feel like a massage when you walk.
There is torsion: This is when one side of your pelvis tips forward and the other side tips back. This motion creates play in your SI joint in the back and the pubic symphysis in the front. It allows the passive (ligaments and connective tissues) to move as well as the active (muscles). Having just the right amount of play or movement in your pelvis gives you strength. Too little and you are tight and sore.
There is pelvic lateral movement: This creates the space to swing your leg through. It means one side of your lower torso has to lift up one side of the pelvis with strong side muscles. When you repeat this with each step, those muscles really get some work!
Hip mobility and strength: Your legs have to move through flexion and extension as well as some internal and external rotation to give you the power to move forward. Talk about play in your joints. When you have a good range of motion you become stronger, more efficient and a better overall mover.
Dorsi and plantar flexion of your ankles: Our ankles and feet are so important and they don’t get the love they deserve. Studies show the “strength of ankle plantarflexor and eversion range of motion is significantly correlated with balance stability.“ So exercising active dorsi and plantar flexion is good for you, period.
In April, I’ll take each of these areas and focus on how they relate to your walking. Join us in the #walkforhealthguelph movement May 2019 to raise money for the MS society of Wellington County and walk for health.