Although one of the most fundamental activities for humans; most of us actually move incorrectly. And we have the shoes to blame. A growing body of international research from podiatrists and fitness experts says we’d have fewer injuries if we were barefoot most of the time. Not only that, we would actually access greater sensory perception, better posture, and build stronger muscles, core, and feet.

Ready to walk towards health?

Try these tips for walking fit (shoes or bare):

feet and ankles
– Absorb the ground by rolling all over the foot
– Feel your toes open and push through them.
– Open your ankle and show the entire sole of your foot to the person behind you

pelvis and hips

– Keep your abs slightly contracted, but your lower back and glutes relaxed
– Keep your hips level with each stride

arms and hands
(The arm swing is vital to engage upper body rotation and encourage proper breathing habits)
– Move your bent elbows back more than you move them forward
– Keep your hands relaxed and palms facing your body

Posture, head and neck
(When in motion, keep your knees slightly bent and remember to have a rotating gaze looking straight ahead. This helps the body’s three centers of balance integrate more efficiently.)

– Increase the distance between the ears and the shoulders

Energy use as we age

“For overall body health, our walking motion needs to be as energy efficient as possible,” says Randy Eady, a rehab counselor. In fact, research on walking consistently shows that the body behaves like an inverted pendulum, albeit only 65% ​​perfect. That is, for each step (perfectly balanced and symmetrical) that we take, 35% of the energy must be obtained from the calories that we burn. Imagine if your physiology is operating under some walking impairment mechanism and what that might translate to in regards to overall good health. Plus, adds Eady, “walking imbalances are the kind of handicap we all accumulate from postural instability, lack of body awareness, stress, and poor positioning habits over time.”

Putting Ancient Primal Rhythms into Daily Practice: Four Basic Principles

1) Sleep in the afternoon. Naps help boost energy, so you don’t need a sugary snack in the afternoon. Rather, studies link sleep deprivation to increased production of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave comfort foods.

2) Take a walk or walk around the city. Especially barefoot. In countries where rhythms more naturally complement lifestyles like Switzerland… in one year, 30% of trips are made on foot, 10% by bicycle and only 38% by car.

3) Go primary with the greens. As Dr. Daphne Miller wrote in Jungle Effect: A Doctor Discovers the Healthiest Diets from Around the World, “Fermented, leafy foods are staples in places like West Africa. They’re packed with probiotics, which support the protective bacteria in your colon.” in the gut

4) Put the body in motion and the four limbs physically coordinated. Stand on one foot more often (such as when brushing teeth or tying a shoe). Walk down the sidewalk when you get the chance. And, throw a ball or two (literally).

One of the best multigenerational exercises I use is rolling and throwing two balls. Too much fun! Easy to do. Simply stack a smaller exercise ball on top of a large exercise ball. Stand about 8 feet (3 m) away and toss the smaller ball back and forth while rolling the larger ball back and forth with your feet.

Author’s Note: Did you know that as of 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 18,000 people age 65 and older died from fall-related injuries? Another 1.8 million people were treated in emergency departments for injuries related to a fall. The total direct cost of falls among older adults in 2000 was approximately $19 billion. This cost is expected to reach $43.8 billion by 2020 due to the maturing demographic of boomers. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

QUICK TIPS FOR Improving Movement Safety

o Exercise regularly. Exercise programs like Tai Chi that increase strength and improve balance are especially good.
o Review medications with your doctor to reduce side effects and interactions.
o Get your eyes checked at least once a year.
o At home, improve lighting and reduce hazards like slippery rugs and runners.

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