Gait refers to the nature of how a person walks during their daily life. Walking keeps a person active, reduces back pain, and helps keep your muscles and joints strong and loose.
For most of us, walking is second nature. However, there are many who may find difficulty when they try to walk, or they begin to tire and get sore more easily when walking. Others may have suffered an injury which has thrown off their gait and created new complications when attempting to walk.
In some cases, walking can be improved by a few self-correcting tips, while others may need to be assisted with professional care. The following are some tips to help improve your walking ability.
Seek out a Chiropractor
One of the most common reasons a person may have trouble with their gait is due to a misalignment issue, which can usually be resolved through chiropractic care. Thankfully there is no shortage of chiropractors out there, and it’s as simple as searching for “Vancouver chiropractors near me” to find an available clinic.
Chiropractors can help you identify the root of your issue, whether your troubles are due to a spinal issue, misalignment, or joint problems.
Some of the main focus a chiropractor will help you with are:
- Increasing the strength of your muscles, as well as coordination in the legs
- Helping to retrain the reflexes and voluntary responses of the muscles in your lower body
- Improve and coordinate your passive balance
- Improve flexibility
- Built resistance and trained cardiovascular fitness levels
Wear the Proper Attire
Wearing a proper pair of walking or running shoes when knowing you will be performing extended periods of cardio such as a hike, jog, or long walk. At the same time, this rule is good to keep in practice for anyone; it’s especially important for those who may find difficulty in walking or have a misaligned gait.
A proper walking or running shoe should come with a few “must-haves.” First, it must be comfortable enough that it does not cause any blisters on the feet, which can further cause pain and awkward walking conditions. Secondly, a shoe should offer you proper support, whether it be in your sole, arch, or ball of the foot.
It is also good to make sure your shoe isn’t too small or tied too tightly, as these restrictions can cut blood flow to the feet, creating swelling, numbness, and further pain.
There are many exercises one can perform on their own time, whether at home or the gym, to help improve their gait. Some of these exercises can include
- Knee extensions
- Toe taps
- Seated marching
- Side leg raises
- Bringing knees to chest
- Balancing alternating legs
Move Your Arms
Many health professionals like chiropractors and physiotherapists often recommend that you move or swing your arms slightly while you are walking, rather than keeping them completely at your side or in your pockets. The reason for this is that moving your arms while walking helps to activate more of your joints and muscles, allowing you to get a more thorough workout and blood flow circulating while you move.