Walking is a great form of exercise. It's as easy as putting one foot in front of the other and something we take for granted that we are doing it right. Well over the years, I have noticed many people walking and I shutter thinking the damage they are doing to their bodies or worse yet they look like they are in pain. Here are a few tips to get more out of each step:
1) Walk backwards and sideways - Think of the pressure you are consistently putting on the front of the knee when moving in a forward plane of motion. Additionally the muscles that move you in this direction become strong and out of balance with their opposing muscle groups. This decreases flexibility and increases the degeneration of this area. Walking sideways and backwards focuses on different muscle groups and puts the power in the motion in other areas of the joint. You might just find better alignment of the knee joint by "walking this way".
2) Wear a performance walking shoe - Runners have known for years if they want to get the most out of each run, they need a performance running shoes. The like of New Balance, Asics, Karhu, and Brooks have led the way in this area. Well runners, step aside, because now there are choices for specific, performance walking shoes. Skechers, more known for style and trend, now leads this space with the SHAPE UP walking shoes. They have a dual mid sole which provides cushion and function, a curved "kinetic" bottom which keeps the body in motion and core active, and high support to increase hip extension, working your bottom line and lifting it!