The health and mental benefits of walking - and four steps to optimize your walking gait and avoid injury - The Guardian

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As a form of physical activity, it is easy to dismiss walking as, well, pedestrian. But now its benefits, both physical and mental, are being appreciated once again.

According to [Sports scientist Joanna Hall, who has dedicated her career to coaching people in how to walk the way their bodies were designed to], there are four common aspects we get wrong, and each has knock-on effects on the body.

Firstly, instead of propelling ourselves forwards by pushing off with the back foot, like an ice-skater, we try to use our stepping foot to power us along. . . .

The second problem is what Hall calls a passive foot strike. The movement provided by the joints in our feet offers suspension and balance but we often plod along flatly instead, leaving us compromised. . . .

The third thing to watch out for is letting your head hang forwards. . . .

Finally, our arms tend to hang awkwardly or we force them into tense, power-walk movements, when what they want is to dangle freely. . . .

As well as percolating the cerebral juices, there are powerful mental-health benefits to be gained from walking. Half an hour of walking per day has been found to be as helpful as more intense 20-minute workouts in treating depression. . . .

MoBikeFed comment: If you are interested in learning more about Joanna Hall's four tips for better walking, you can check out her web page and YouTube channel here:

https://joannahallwalkactive.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg_3Ii9CUt67dcUaIvZotWg