4 Essential Walking Posture Tips

By , Jessica Smith, Certified Personal Trainer
Did you know that simple things like standing taller, engaging your abs and even walking sideways can help you walk further and faster, all while helping you burn more calories?

Here are a few walking posture tips to help you make the most of every step (think of the word P.A.C.E. to help you remember these!) 
P stands for PICKing up your toes as you step and PUSHing off the balls of your feet. Fully flexing your foot (or drawing your toes towards you) helps engage the muscles of your shins and may help prevent the tripping that can occur when we shuffle our feet closer to the ground while we step. Also, pushing off the balls of your feet can help propel your body forward more efficiently to help increase your speed without a lot of extra exertion, allowing you to walk further faster.
A stands for Abs. Drawing your belly button gently into your spine engages the supportive core muscles that reinforce good posture and might even help prevent back pain. (Make sure you can still breathe fully and deeply as you engage your abs.)
C stands for Coordination. Focus on maintaining great postural alignment while you change up the direction of your steps. Try walking on your heels, balls of your feet, sideways, backwards, etc. to keep your mind and body engaged in the activity of walking. Of course, you'll want to stay safe with these kinds of non-traditional, coordination-building movements, so be sure to try these more challenging walking exercises in a safe space where you don't need to worry about running into objects, people or traffic!
E stands for Elongation. Think of elongating your spine by keeping your energy lifting upwards to avoid sinking into a rounded, slumping posture. (I like to imagine I have two large balloons tied to my ears.) Maintaining a tall spine also requires more muscular activation to support it, helping you burn more calories with every step.
Try these tips during your next walk, and you may find it even more enjoyable to stride!

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About the Author
As someone who struggled to lose weight for years, Jessica found that the key to her own 40-pound weight loss was making small, healthy lifestyle changes that led to big, lasting results. Now, as a certified wellcoach, fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has spent the last 15 years helping students and clients reach their goals in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, and now reaches millions online through her YouTube Channel and home exercise DVD series. Please visit jessicasmithtv.com/shop to learn more about her fun, results driven programs for all levels of exercisers.