You've probably been walking for about as long as you've been talking. But walking isn't just a way to get from here to there, its also a great physical activity! Walking doesn't require a lot of equipment, you can do it anywhere, it is always available by just walking out your front door, and it's a great way to relax and refresh. It's also something you can do alone or with your friends and family.
If you thought walking was just putting one foot in front of the other, you were right! But check out these tips for how to walk and breathe correctly so your walk will be safer and easier.
How you hold your body is important. Stand up straight and tall. This means putting your shoulders back and relaxing them (no slouching!), and keeping your chin up and stomach in. It's a good idea to look 20 feet ahead—about the lengths of two cars. This keeps your chin up and your eyes on your path!
Taking your first steps.
Start out your first step with the heel first. Then roll your foot from heel to toe and push off the toes with the next step. Bringing the opposite leg forward, repeat this again. (This may feel a little funny at first but as your muscles get stronger it gets easier.)
Moving or swinging your arms when you're walking can give you power and it balances what your legs are doing! Bend your elbow 90 degrees (so your arm looks like the letter "L"), while keeping your hands slightly curled. When you step, one foot moves forward and the arm opposite this foot should come forward too. As your foot goes back, bring back the opposite arm with it. Keep your elbows close to the body so you don't have "chicken wings."
Don't forget to breathe!
Your breathing should have a rhythm. Inhale one deep breath for four steps and then hold that breath for two steps. Then exhale to the count of four steps, and hold it for two steps before beginning all over again. So the rhythm is — breathe in (step 1, 2, 3, 4), hold (step 1, 2) breathe out (step 1, 2, 3, 4) hold (step 1, 2).
Everyone's stride is different, so if you feel that four steps are too long or too short, adjust it to what is comfortable for you.
We don't give a second thought to walking and breathing at the same time, but some ancient creatures, and some that are still around (like lizards), can't do both at once. Lizards have to pause when they're running in order to take breaths.