Fitness walking done in the correct form can increase the effectiveness and fun of your workout while reducing the risk of injury.
Keep your head up and look forward. Your chin should be level and not too high or too close to your chest. You don’t slouch over; instead, your shoulders remain back and relaxed.
- Foot Placement
Keep your feet close to an imagined line in the pavement’s middle in front of you (follow lines on a track).
- Finding Stride Length
Put your feet slightly apart and stand straight up. At your ankles, lean forward (like a ski jumper). Put your right foot in front of you as you shift your weight forward to prevent falling forward by catching yourself. Your stride length is as follows. Regardless of the style of walking you do (strolling – 3 mph; brisk/fitness walking – 4 mph; racewalking – 5 mph), you should keep the same stride length.
Keep at least one foot on the ground at all times. Before rolling onto the ball of your foot and pushing off with your toes, your heel strikes the ground first (trailing foot). Strides should be taken more quickly than more slowly. Focus on smoothing out the motion rather than slapping the ground with your feet.
- Arm Swing
Your walk now counts as a full-body workout. An additional 5–10% of calories will be burned. Allow your arms to swing in sync with your feet from the front of your chest to your waist, bending at the elbows; your hands should be at chin level. To maintain a forward stride, your forearms should touch your hips.
The following is some safety advice for walkers:
- When possible, take the walkways. Always keep your back to oncoming cars when crossing roadways.
- Avoid going outside after dark. If you decide to do so, stroll on well-lit streets while wearing luminous gear, wearing light-coloured clothing, and keeping a cell phone, flashlight, and whistle nearby.
- Stride with purpose. Try to walk quickly and appear to know where you’re going.
- If you are being attacked, shout “FIRE!” rather than “Help.” If people hear “FIRE!” they will react to you more quickly.
- To let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return, try to give them a heads-up.