To improve awareness while you’re walking, focus on one or two of the following cues. “This will feel unnatural when you first do it,” says Sherry Brourman, PT, author of Walk Yourself Well. Over time, “the body will start to like it, and you’ll choose to use it because it feels better.”
- Point your feet as straight ahead as possible.
- Position your feet directly under your hips, about 3 to 5 inches apart.
- Walk on the centerline of your feet, not the inside or outside.
- With each step, land with a slight knee bend, your kneecaps pointing straight forward.
- Propel yourself forward by using your glutes.
- Transfer your weight completely from one foot to the other.
- Soften your chest and allow your shoulders to broaden.
- Purposefully lengthen your arms and hands as they swing forward and backward.
- To lighten the load on your neck, tuck your chin slightly so your eyes focus about 20 feet in front of you.
- As you walk, exhale fully with each breath until you feel your belly draw in.
This originally appeared in Walk Your Way in the April 2015 print issue of Experience Life.