When we have difficulties with our balance, this can really affect our walking. We start to worry about keeping steady and lose the enjoyment of walking.
In the last 15 years as a specialist exercise instructor, I’ve helped hundreds of people to feel steadier on their feet and more confident with their walking. If this is you as well, please read on.
Walking well matters so much. We need to maintain our ability to walk well for as long as possible.
When we feel steadier on our feet, we’re happier walking to get places, going out to run errands, and walking for pleasure. We can enjoy our surroundings and companions because we aren’t worrying or feeling unsteady.
Walking allows us to explore new places (when we can travel more again) and to connect with nature. It gets us out of the house and can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Is there anything you can do though? Yes! There are many things you can do if you’re starting to struggle with your walking. Here are three things you can think about today:
First of all, it may be worth visiting your doctor to discuss your balance issues. There’s a tendency, as we get older, to put things down to ‘age’. This can mean that we don’t seek medical attention for issues which could be treated or managed.
Of course, we will experience some decline with age, but that doesn’t mean everything can simply be attributed to ageing.
There may be other factors affecting your balance. Your doctor will be able to advise on possible investigations or interventions.
The next thing you can do is to think more about how you walk. This seems strange at first – we’ve been walking without giving it a second thought since we were tiny! But being a little intentional about how we walk can go a long way to helping us to walk well.
The video below is the first in a five-part series on Walking Well. Each of these videos covers one thing you can focus on to walk well – helping you to feel steadier and more confident.
Watch this short video now to learn how much your posture affects the way you walk. I demonstrate some simple tips to improve your posture and your walking.
Practice this now at home – even if you only have space to take a few steps back and forth! Then, when you’re next out for a walk, make a point of checking in on your posture regularly.
Sometimes, posture advice gets too complicated, so I’ve tried to keep it simple. If you find yourself tensing up when you’re trying to ‘fix’ your posture, just try to relax and make small adjustments.
Over time, it will feel more natural, and your body will get used to pulling up a little taller. But you will have to keep reminding yourself!
When I stop and check my posture, I always find I can pull up a little taller. Remember, it’s not about finding fault or reminding you how badly you’re doing things. It’s about noticing how easy it is to make small improvements which will help you walk better and feel more confident.
If you want to improve your walking and balance, the recommendation is to perform targeted exercises. In case you aren’t already doing regular strength and balance exercises, think about adding these to your routine.
If you want help and support to exercise at home, take a look at the Vida Wellness Studio. It’s an online exercise studio for people who want to improve their balance and posture, feel stronger, and move more easily.
Do you notice your walking more than you used to? Have you seen your doctor about balance issues? Do you do regular strength and balance exercises? How often do you check your walking posture? Please share with the community, and let’s have a conversation!
Tags Fitness Over 60