A few years ago I had a flu shot that caused a lot of pain in my shoulder. When the pain didn't go away after a few weeks my doctor referred me to a physical therapist.
I learned that the whole issue stemmed from poor posture!
And wouldn't you know that as soon as I corrected my posture through my chest, shoulders and upper back I started to notice issues in hips and as that got corrected the issues traveled down to my feet.
My time in PT was a process of correcting my posture.
This investment in my posture over several months provided an opportunity to learn more about my body. I began to take more notice of how I moved and how I felt as I moved in different ways.
From that point forward I became much more aware of how I walk.
I notice that when I pay attention to how I walk my body feels better.
During my time in PT I learned that when I walked I wasn't engaging my feet with the road with each step. Because of that I wasn't fully engaging my quadricep and glute muscles (thighs and butt) as I walked, and as a result I wasn't properly absorbing the impact of each step, and this was causing me to have lower back and hip pain after a long walk.
So, now when I walk I pay attention to all of this. I engage my feet with the road, I flex my quads and glutes as I propel myself forward, I engage my abdominal muscles, which in turn gives me strength through my trunk and supports my posture through my shoulders. I pull my shoulder blades back and make sure my shoulders aren't kissing my ears as is often the case in this cold weather, and I hold my head high.
When I am mindful about how I walk my body feels so much better. I end my walk feeling refreshed and strong rather than sore and tired.
I've noticed something as I've become more aware of my walking stride, and I'm going to tell you what it is!
I noticed that I'm strutting as I walk!
I'm walking with confidence, with strength, with purpose.
It seems that as we get older it becomes taboo to strut as we walk. Why is this the case? Strutting is actually good for you!
It's interesting to consider the definition of strut vs. walk.
To walk is to move on the feet by alternately setting each foot forward, with at least one foot on the ground at all times. Simple enough, right?
Now, think about what a strut is. A strut is a brace or support that will hold something in place or to strengthen it. To walk with a strut is to move while in a position of strength and support, with a proud step, and with the head erect.
When you strut while walking you are literally holding yourself with a strengthened, upright support. You are in control of your posture and you are walking with purpose and strength.
My challenge to you as we enter the new year is to pay attention to how you walk and to walk with purpose.
We know that our behavior affects how we feel.
When we walk with strength we feel strong.
When we walk with purpose we feel purposeful.
When we walk with our posture in mind we will be more aware of our posture in our other activities.
To your health...and to good posture in 2020!
Our posture impacts so much in our lives. It's worth it to invest some time in good posture. I have a free gift for you to help you gain proper posture.
Our Restore Your Core guide will help you become stronger from the inside out.
This guide will show you how to improve your posture, protect your back and neck, and gain core strength in and outside your training sessions. To download your free copy click below.
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Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.