Now that you’ve started to develop a walking habit, have the right walking gear, and have been working on theproper walking technique, let’s talk about how to make the most of your time walking and reap the most health benefits.
One of the biggest variables you can control is the length of your stride, and research has shown there are several significant benefits to walking with a shorter stride. First, and most importantly, a shorter stride is gentler on your bones, joints, and tissues. The longer your stride is, the more time your foot and leg are airborne (not touching the ground), and therefore the greater the impact felt with each step. Longer strides can be more taxing on your feet and legs and lead to orthopedic problems.
When you walk on hard surfaces, the force of this impact moves up your heel, foot, leg, knee, and spine like a shockwave. Minimizing the force of this shockwave is critical to reducing foot, leg, and back pain. Of course, one way to reduce the force of this impact is to wear Z-CoiL pain relief footwear. Our patented spring coil dampens the force from each heel strike by 50%. As a result, any stride with Z-CoiL is completely safe as there is a dramatic reduction in stress, impact, and pain. Our customers report the can walk further and get from point A to B faster than with ordinary footwear. The other way to reduce the force of impact is to take shorter strides.
A lot of people think walking faster is better because you’re exercising more. But this is only partially true. What really matters, is the total distance you walk. Covering the same distance, but with shorter strides, can actually mean your body is working harder, which is a good thing. If your body is working harder, you are giving your cardiovascular system a better workout, and you’re burning more calories.
If you want to get a better workout and decrease your chances of long-term injury, wear Z-CoiL Footwear. In regular footwear, we recommend shortening your stride. One of the easiest ways to shorten your stride is to keep your back foot on the ground a little longer than usual. Also, if you have a walking companion and they naturally have a longer stride than you, don’t overstride to try to keep up. Focus instead on shorter, more frequent strides.
One research study found that shortening your stride by just 15% significantly decreased the incidence of knee pain among overweight walkers. It may seem awkward at first, but if you start deliberately shortening each step you take, over time it will become more natural. And you’ll feel better after each walk.
Remember, walking is living.