9 Walking Mistakes You Might Be Making That Cause You More Harm Than Good

By Niharika Nayak

Walking is an awesome form of exercise that can be done by the young and old alike. It is a low-impact exercise that keeps your body active and healthy without putting too much strain. However, as is the case with any exercise, doing it the proper way is quite important to achieve the best results. From the walking posture to the shoes you’re wearing, not doing it the right way can cause issues for you. Have you felt recurring pain in your feet after your daily walking sessions? Or feeling extra fatigue? Chances are that you are probably making certain mistakes without realizing them. Let’s look at nine walking mistakes that are commonly made by people that cause problems:

1. Leaning Forward Too Much

Leaning Forward Too Much


It is pretty common for us to forget to maintain good posture while walking, which can have a massive impact on our health. If you walk with a hunch, it can put an enormous strain on your hips, leading to long-term problems that will cause you back and hip pain. It is also recommended to walk with your back straight and your chin parallel to the ground. You need to make sure that your shoulders are relaxed and pulled backward, as this will help your body stay aligned and take any unnecessary weight off your hips and lower back.

2. Pushing Your Body Forward With Your Front Leg

Pushing Your Body Forward With Your Front Leg


When you are walking, you must pay attention to your muscles. You need to ensure that you are engaging the right muscles and in the correct manner. It is pretty unhealthy for you to push your body forward with your front leg because this can lead to you spraining your pelvis. Over time, this unhealthy habit will lead you to suffer from pain and injury. Instead, it would be best if you pushed from your buttocks and moved forward from your back leg. This move will naturally propel you forwards without adding strain to you or forcing your legs. Take your time in adjusting your habits and correct them gradually.

3. Not Engaging Your Core Muscles Enough (Or At All)

Not Engaging Your Core Muscles Enough


A strong core provides the body with the right amount of strength to support all kinds of physical activities, even walking. But often, we forget to engage our core muscles during workouts and walks. Instead, we rely only on our leg and hip muscles. However, it is pretty crucial for us to support our weight and keep us balanced. If you tighten your stomach muscles while walking, you will help keep them strong and prevent yourself from enduring lower back pain and having poor posture.

4. Keeping Your Shoulders Too High

Keeping Your Shoulders Too High


This is a lousy walking habit that can cause a lot of pain pretty quickly if you don’t correct it. You might be unconsciously causing yourself pain by following this posture. If you walk with tense, high shoulders, you will end up suffering from neck, shoulder, and even back pain. Instead, you should relax your shoulders and draw them backward. Don’t force the shoulders back or puff out your chest or butt, as this might also cause muscle pain.

5. Wearing The Wrong Type Of Shoes

Wearing The Wrong Type Of Shoes


When you walk, the most essential thing should be wearing shoes that fit you properly. If you are wearing shoes that are too heavy, too stiff, or don’t fit properly, it can harm your health. Even if you wear shoes that are too old or the cushions of your shoes are worn out, it can strain your muscles and cause problems with your knees and make you suffer from severe pain in your feet. If you notice any discomfort with your shoes while walking, change them and get new ones as soon as you can. And meanwhile, avoid walking in your bad shoes.

6. Taking Steps That Are Too Big

Taking Steps That Are Too Big


If you take steps that are too forward and too far ahead of your body, you will be putting excessive weight on your shins. Since your shins carry your body and absorb the shock from walking, excess weight will cause pain in your shin and could even lead to knee damage due to pressure. Once you notice that you are doing this, you must take active steps to correct the behavior and take more frequent and smaller steps.

7. Not Using Your Arms

Not Using Your Arms


When you set out on your walk, you need to make sure that you use your arms effectively as well. This should be done for your balance and ensure blood flow to your arms as well. If you keep your arms stiff beside you, not only will you look really weird, but it will also affect your healthy tissue, and you will start to notice your hands getting swollen and red. This is especially the case in hot weather. Instead, you should let your hands swing by your side in a rhythm that will match your walking speed.

8. Walking Too Flat-Footed

Walking Too Flat-Footed


When you take a step, you need to make sure that you roll your foot forward from your heel to your toe before you lift it again. However, if you are the type of person who doesn’t roll your foot but snaps your foot flatly onto the ground, then you will start to feel the consequences of these actions. Walking with a flat foot can lead to immense pain in your knees, ankles, and hips since these parts of your body absorb quite a bit of shock and weight. Learn how to balance on your toes and be light-footed and avoid thuds on your heel.

9. Letting Your Dog Get Too Ahead Of You

Letting Your Dog Get Too Ahead Of You


For the dog walkers, it’s important that you watch your walking stance. If you notice that your dog is pulling too much on your outstretched arm, it can often put you off balance and add pressure to your elbows, wrists, and shoulders. You might end up suffering from pain in your hands, injuries on your elbow ligament, and pain in your wrist. It is recommended that you walk your dog close to you or on your left side when you’re taking the dog on a leash.

Walking is therapeutic as well as a great form of exercise. You can always take that refreshing morning walk or a night walk to clear your mind from the work pressure. When done regularly and correctly, walking has many long-lasting benefits for our health and wellbeing. So, put on your running shoes and go enjoy that awesome walk. Do let us know all of your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Niharika has a passion for all things art, music, and travel. During her spare time, she likes experimenting in the... more