Your walking pattern starts with your posture.

Your walking pattern starts with your posture.

Let's start from the beginning - we all have our own unique walking styles. It's your very own pattern that you repeat 365 days a year. You may not have paid much attention to it consciously, but whatever your walking style, you most likely copied it from your parents when you were a child. Imagine for a moment how your mother or father walks. Did you recognise yourself?

Copying is humane - it is our desire to be accepted and belong to a group. What is more important though is what walking kind of a pattern have you been practicing?

Are the movements that you repeat for 365 days secretly creating trouble and hurting your health?

Your walking pattern (gait), posture and pace can reveal more about your personality and overall health than you might think.

Note: Of course, there are also those whose bad posture is the result of injury, illness or genetics – problems that are mostly out of their control. A combination of these factors is also quite common.

According to research, bad posture is a common problem, with 65.3% being the overall prevalence of incorrect posture in children and adolescents in China, and according to the American Chiropractic Association, over 31 million Americans suffer from poor posture at any one time. In other words, they push through life with a habitual walking pattern that harms their health.

The very first step to knowing your walking pattern is self-awareness: identifying your natural posture and which habitual movements have carried you so far.

For better identification, we have highlighted the characteristic features of a "health-promoting" walking posture, put together by Harvard Health Publishing:

STAND TALL. It is extremely important to pay attention to your spine - not only when sitting or standing. Many people bring that hunched-over- the-computer posture to their walks. This position makes it harder for you to breathe and may contribute to backaches. Other people lean backward. Instead, extend your spine as if you were being lifted from the crown of your head. Place your thumbs on your lower ribs and your fingertips on your hips. As you stand up tall, notice how the distance in between increases. Try to maintain this elongation as you walk. The goal is a neutral, upright spine position — not flexed too far forward or backward.
EYES UP. If you're looking down at your feet, you're putting unnecessary stress on your upper back and neck. Bring your gaze out about 10 to 20 feet in front of you. You'll still be able to spy obstacles ahead and prevent upper-body tension.
SHOULDERS BACK, DOWN AND RELAXED. Roll your shoulders up, back, and then down. This is where your shoulders should be as you walk—not pulled up toward your ears. Think about keeping your shoulders away from your ears to reduce upper-body tension and allow for a freer arm swing.
SWING FROM YOUR SHOULDERS. Let your arms swing freely from your shoulders, not your elbows. Swing your arms forward and back, like a pendulum. Don't bring them across your body or let them go higher than your chest.
MAINTAIN A NEUTRAL PELVIS. Keep your abs tight, but don't tuck your tailbone under or stick your belly out and overarch your back.
STEP LIGHTLY. You should be rolling from heel to toe as you stride, not landing flat-footed with a thud. And don't reach your leg far out in front of you. That increases impact on your joints and actually slows you down. You want a smooth, quiet stride—no bouncing or plodding along—to reduce your risk of injury.

A healthy gait pattern depends on a number of biomechanical properties that the central nervous system orchestrates for economy and stability. Injuries and other pathologies can alter these characteristics and cause significant gait deficits, often with detrimental consequences for energy expenditure and balance.

Was there anything about the above-mentioned “health-promoting” walking posture that you hadn't paid much attention to?

If you stopped by at least one of them slightly longer, the following "health-damaging" walking pattern adjectives may be familiar to you: dragging your feet, hips forward, heavy legged, tense body, crouching down, short steps, not moving your hands, back pain …and so on.

Before we go deeper into the topic, get to know your body again:

Look at yourself in front of the mirror, let your loved ones describe your posture, practice consciously keeping your body in the right position.

Our experience shows that the goal of remembering to keep your body in the right position while walking takes a bit of training (help). And this help is provided by the unique ILUUM walking training poles while walking. More about how exactly, in the next entry.


ILUUM walking poles make your walk purposeful. Balance leads you.

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