“Learning how to walk correctly.” You will probably smirk and say: that’s child’s play. That may be true. This is something that we actually learn as a child. However, the accumulation of the many hours, weeks, months and years we spend sitting has caused us to ‘unlearn’ our healthy walking techniques. In fact, many people do not walk upright at all. You notice it when people have drooping shoulders, tilted head posture or an arched back. People do not place their feet properly in front of one another, but rather they tend to shuffle, dragging their feet forwards rather than lifting them up in clean motions and completing the correct roll-through movement. To make matters worse, many people turn their feet inwards or outwards whilst walking. This is a consequence of the fact that we all sit too much and move too little.
Always try to keep your body upright. Visualising the correct motions helps.
Firstly, let us explain what walking correctly looks like from an orthopaedic perspective: Walking whilst conscious of your stance, a slight spring in your step, remaining an upright position with your head held up straight, looking ahead. Your chest should be pushed outwards and the shoulders pulled backwards so that your shoulder blades sit close to one another at the back. It is really not that hard when you think about it. Visualising the correct motions helps. Simply imagine the tension of a large rubber band attached to the top of your head, continuously pulling your body upwards as you walk. Proper posture really is crucial for being able to walk correctly. Another thing is being conscious of your roll-through movements. This motion starts from the heels and should continue through to the instep and finally down to the big toe. Make sure that your big toe is the last part of your foot to touch the ground as you complete this roll-through movement. In biomechanical terms, the last part of the roll-through motion is actually a pushing-off movement.
Stay as active as possible. It is the best medicine and the most effective prophylaxis.
There is no denying it – the majority of us are all guilty of not staying active enough. Exercise is vital for our bodies and extends our life expectancy. The Robert Koch Institute recommends at least 10,000 steps every day in its DEGS Study (German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults). Most of us only manage half of this. Those with sedentary work in the office, who do not engage in sports activities during their spare time and travel by car to work, even report to only do an alarming 1,000 to 2,000 steps a day.
Briefly summarised: walking properly is actually not that hard and EVERY step counts.
Using an app or fitness bracelet to help with this can work wonders on you journey to a healthier lifestyle
Don’t know how many steps you do per day? There are lots of free apps available to download to your phone or small fitness bracelets (available from as little as 20€) that can give you a very accurate count. Try one out sometime! You will soon see: the more you monitor how many steps you do a day, the more you will be motivated to increase this amount. Small changes really can have a big impact: taking the stairs instead of the lift, cycling to walk instead of driving, going to the bakery by foot, taking a short walk in the morning (maybe even incorporating walking barefoot into your morning routine somehow).
In addition to the advantages that keeping active has on your feet and other body parts responsible for walking, there are two more advantages: movement is by far the best diet and disease-preventative method, as it strengthens your immune system at the same time. The fact that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind is no secret – in fact it was something noted by the Romans over 2000 years ago (mens sana in copore sano).
Let’s get back to the point: here at Sioux, we may “only” be a shoe manufacturer, but we are a shoe manufacturer with over 6 decades of experience in dealing with healthy feet and walking habits. It would mean a lot to us to be able to contribute to this topic with our small texts and give some valuable insights. The articles we publish do not constitute a self-diagnosis tool and are not a substitute for a proper doctor's diagnosis.