How can I improve my walking form?

Here are tips for better walking form:

Get your form right to get the most out of your walk.

One of the many great things about walking is that everyone knows how to do it. But if it's your main way to exercise, a few form tweaks will help you burn extra calories.

Stand up straight, as if a string is pulling your spine upward. Don't lean forward as if you're heading into a stiff breeze.

Look straight ahead, not down at your cool new shoes.

Relax your shoulders, bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, and move them back and forth (not across your chest) as you walk. This helps propel you forward and gives your arms a light workout. Don't bring your hands up near your face or develop a punching motion; just drive your elbow back at waist height.

Keep hands relaxed, in a loose fist (don't clench or flap them around).

Your stride should feel right to you. It won't feel fluid if your steps are too short or too long. Aim for a smooth, rhythmic, natural pace.

Once you hit your natural stride, your foot will roll from heel to toe. Then think about pushing off with your toes -- it helps you walk faster and burn more calories.

If you want to improve your walking form look up local walking groups in your area and local running and walking stores. They often have people and software to analyze your walking gait and identify areas that can be improved. Some general tips for walking form include keeping an upright torso, with your shoulders back and keeping your arms bent at 90 degrees but keep your arms loose do not clinch your fists. As you walk make sure to rotate your torso as you take a step and get a swivel action of the torso with each step. Make sure to buy shoes specifically designed for walking.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.