Hello !! I've been thinking about walking lately. Teaching lessons in January about hips and knees probably triggered it. Along with an inviting sunn

Happy senior couple walking in park - Version 2

Depositphotos- by Wavebreakmedia

Hello !!

I've been thinking about walking lately. Teaching lessons in January about hips and knees probably triggered it. Along with an inviting sunny day now and then.

Walking is more than just a lower body enterprise. Check out the article and movement exploration to make walking easier.


Shoulders in Walking?

Students in my classes or other mindful movement classes may have experienced the difference in walking while holding their shoulders and arms very still compared with allowing the shoulders and arms to move. Walking is easier, smoother and looks more graceful when the shoulders move.

Research using robotic walking machines supports that experiential sense. In fact, the researchers found that “keeping the arms steady increased the effort of walking by 12%, the equivalent of walking 20% faster or carrying a 10 kg backpack". (added emphasis) They also found that arm swinging required little muscle effort; arm and shoulder movements seem to be a passive result of the mechanics of walking. Read more

And yet, many people don’t have much upper body movement when walking! Certainly, neurological difficulties (Parkinson’s comes to mind) may limit some people. But what about the rest of the “sleepy shoulders” group? I suspect the habit of non-movement -- encouraged by a lot of sitting, a forward rounded posture, shallow breathing -- has taken over a more dynamic activity, namely walking. Inability to sense what they are not doing keeps the habit of too-quiet shoulders in place. In addition, when balance feels precarious, they hold their upper bodies even more still—which just adds to the problem. In what feels counter-intuitive, moving the shoulders actually helps our balance!

In February and March, Awareness Through Movement ® classes will focus on freeing the shoulders and neck. New students are always welcome.

A Short Walking Lesson

Depositphotos by Ammentorp 2

Depositphotos-photo by Ammentorp

Walk and notice the ease and smoothness of your walk. Could you do this for a long distance? How long a stride do you take? Notice any movement in your right arm and shoulder--don't make anything happen. Simply notice what is going on right now as you walk. Similarly, check the left shoulder and arm. Rest in standing or sitting.

As you begin to walk again, keep your shoulders from moving, imagine your shoulder blades glued to the underlying ribs. How does walking feel now? What happens to your stride? Your balance? Rest.

Now, as you walk again, exaggerate the movement of your shoulders --not just the arm swing! Notice the effect--on your stride, breathing, sense of forward movement. Gradually reduce the exaggerated effort to simply allow your pelvis and spine to invite movement in your shoulders. Note your stride and how you feel.

Next time you're out walking, take a moment to check in with your shoulders and invite them along!

Class Schedules - Moving Mindfully

What's the right class for you? Please contact me--details below


Change your Age -- Awareness Through Movement®

• Engage your brain to update movement habits
• Improve walking, posture, coordination and balance
• “Move younger” with less pain, stiffness and effort

Smaller class allows individual attention

Yoga Center of Corvallis -- Tuesdays Feb 3 - March 17

Noon-12:45 pm -- No class Feb 10

Free Your Neck and Shoulders

Move with less pain, stiffness and effort
Improve the coordination of your neck, shoulders and ribs
Enjoy improved posture, balance and ease

Chintimini Senior Center - 2601 NW Tyler Ave

Tuesdays, Feb 17 - March 17 10:30 - 11:30 am

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Mindful Movement with Parkinson's

Ongoing Class

A specialty class for People with Parkinson’s and their caregivers focused on movement issues important to health and safety. Participants will learn specific movement strategies to make daily activities easier and more enjoyable.

New students--first class session free! Read More

Fitness Over Fifty -- 6735 SW Country Club Drive Corvallis

Wednesdays 11:30 am-12:30 pm - no class Feb 11

For More Information

Contact me: margbartosek@gmail.com or 541-286-4678

or check out: My Website

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