Our walk counts for more than our talk


If you've been blessed with the ability to walk well it's easy isn't it, you don't think about it, get up and go. Gait is the term used to describe how we walk. When we are children we aren't actually taught to stand or to walk, we copy. Usually whoever is around the most, normally meaning we may pick up their style, good/bad, very early on.

Have a think about your walk, its actually a whole body experience, your arms and legs both swing, this causes flexing, extending, side moving and twisting of the pelvis, hips, spine, shoulders, head etc. now think..... what if you're moving just that little bit different on one side to the other, perhaps you have tightness in your right shoulder so it may be pulling a little bit on your neck/arm, you may even be totally unaware of this but if your right handed and do well.... general life stuff then you probably have some tension there. Imagine your body like this mobius strip (picture above), changeable, continuous, ever affecting its whole self. Every change/movement/injury that occurs in a part of your body affects everywhere else! Think of the muscles surrounding your pelvis, there are loads that support the bones there. If one of those muscles is weak then smaller muscles try and pick up the slack, this leads to muscles tears, pain and inflammation. If it continues this leads to scar tissue, and then you are trapped in a cycle that feeds itself. Some people walk/run through this pain, and compensate for it by changing their natural gait. This leads to problems and pain in the quadriceps, hamstrings, Achilles tendons, knees, ankles or feet. You walk everyday no doubt, if there is something not quite right about your gait, you can see how it will affect you in the long term.

However it's not all doom and gloom for your walk, irrelevant of imbalances walking is great for your mind. A number of studies have found that walking improves brain function, one such study found walking three times a week dramatically increased brain function. Finding that this growth in function took years off the brains age and increased the size of the hippocampus (mainly a memory area) which is one of the first areas destroyed by Alzheimer's.

Anyway, don't worry about your walk, look forward, be confident in it and if something doesn't feel right go have it checked and sorted. The body wants to walk, it's actually easier than standing, its natural for the hips to swing, it's rhythmical and muscles love to alternate between moving and resting. So get up and about today, give your muscles, ligaments, bones and brain what they all crave.... movement!

To great health and much love,

Hannah

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