Everyday walking is something that we generally take for granted. However, as your loved one starts to age, their ability to walk safely and effectively may be hindered. A more confident walking experience means that your loved one is able to stay active for longer and are far more engaged with life.
Sixty and Me outlines some key recommendations to pay attention to when walking.
Pull up tall for good posture
It is our body’s natural response to stoop or hunch over when we feel unsteady as a form of protection. However, this can make us less stable, which can have an overall effect on your loved one’s confidence.
Standing tall will not only improve your loved one’s overall balance, but will allow for deeper breaths. By allowing for more oxygen, more energy is obtainable for a longer more enjoyable walking experience.
Rolling heal -toe action
As your loved one begins to age, the natural rolling movement of the foot may start to diminish. This results in a less powerful walking motion, where trips and stumbles may become more likely.
When the foot is being planted on the ground in the walking motion, the heal should make the initial contact. This if then followed by a shift of weight from the heal to the ball of the foot, until ready to push off from the toes. By doing so, the likelihood of tripping is far less as your loved one’s toes are off the ground when first making contact. This also allows for a more powerful, larger stride in order to walk with confidence.
The motion of the arm swinging as a counterbalance to the opposite leg is crucial for our loved one’s overall stability when walking. It is important to practice bent elbows with arms close to the body for a more efficient walking experience. By encouraging the natural movement of the arms in correlation to the legs, less energy is required for our loved one’s overall movement, making walking both more efficient and enjoyable.
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