Guest Author - Hellie T.
When you are walking it is natural to move your arms and the swing of your arms should feel natural and comfortable – not forced.
As your arm swings forward it should be close to the side of your body. Your elbow should be bent at about 90 degrees. Sticking your arms out to the sides is called "chicken winging"!
Your hands should be held in a comfortable way - they can be bit closed but never clenched. Remember you will want to flex your fingers as you walk.
One thing to remember
It is important to make sure your arm swing does not cross the centre of your body - as this can make you walk in an unbalanced way.
Also never raise your arms above heart level.
Don't look down at the ground but keep your eyes focused some way in front of you.
As you take your steps, then the arm opposite your forward foot should come straight forward, never diagonally.
As your foot goes back,then the opposite arm comes straight back - have a go and see.
Using your arms when walking helps your balance and stability.
If you are moving on to fitness or power walking - to achieve a faster walking speed you need to swing your arms forward with a punching action -keeping your arms bent at right angles at the elbow.
At first really using your arms can become quite tiring - like any exercise when you are not used to it - if this happens then onlu use your arms for 4-9 minutes at a time and then let your arms rest, before having another go.
click here for more details on walking posture
Your stride or step length
Your height and leg length, plus your hamstring tightness and hip rotation will all effect the length of your stride.
We all have different stride lengths so someone with short legs will have a short stride length and have to take more steps than someone who has long legs and therefore naturally a longer stride length.
This is worth remembering when comparing the number of steps you have taken when out walking with a taller or shorter companion.
Enjoy your walking!