If you’re a runner, you’ve maybe looked into your running form a bit. You probably know if you are a heel-striker or a forefoot-striker, and you might have shoes that address this.
But have you ever considered your walking form?
Yeah, me neither. But New Balance brought a bunch of us up to the New York Botanical Garden, and it’s not like there was anything pretty to see, so we learned a bit about our walking form.
I walk plenty around the city but rarely with the intent of doing it for exercise – although it can be great exercise, of course – but my walking form was certainly nothing like these ladies’ form.
Wait! Now it is! Or…I’m going to fight someone. Either way.
We got up to the Botanical Gardens, and met our awesome crew: New Balance Fitness Ambassador Holly Perkins, Good Form Running/Walking dude Grant Robison and two adorable Botanical Gardens tour guides.
We did some walking around the park before stopping to get walking lessons from Holly and Grant.
Okay, this looks pretty. Let’s stop here.
If you clicked on the link above, you’ll see that Grant is no joke of a runner. He competed in the 2004 Olympics and ran for Stanford. He began to learn about adjusting form after dealing with his own injuries, namely plantar fascitis.
We walked back and forth across this plaza, learning about walking form. The world of walking form, according to Grant:
1. Stride: Don’t overstride. You end up locking your knees when you do this, and cause more impact on your joints. Shorten your stride so you land with a bent knee.
2. Foot strike: You know how heel striking is bad for running? It’s good for walking. You should also have a soft, not clunky strike, according to Grant. I prayed that he wouldn’t catch me shuffling across the plaza. I’m terribly clumsy and drag my feet way too much when I’m walking.
3. Posture: Holly talked about this one. Use your butt, use your abs to walk. You might look like a bit of a tool, but you’re walking more efficiently. You should also be walking with bent arms, rather than with straight arms, because otherwise you’re bringing too much tension into your neck and shoulders.
He talked about running the Twin Cities Marathon, hitting the wall and needing to walk, and really realizing the importance of form, knowing that being extremely fatigued, his form wasn’t the greatest.
Look, we kind match the flowers. They hooked us up with these outfits: pants, top, jacket. NB is a former client of mine, so I usually love their stuff anyway, but this outfit seriously hit out of the park. The top has really cute drawstrings on the side, the pants have a really cute tulip detail at the knee, and the jacket is a good length. I’ve felt kinda chunky lately, but I felt great in this outfit – I thought it was super-flattering. Gia’s wearing the layering tank, which I thought was really cute, too.
The event was to launch the 1765 walking shoe. Gia and I asked what made a walking shoe different than a running shoe. I typically wear lightweight shoes these days, so it’s definitely heavier than my running shoes. The bottoms are also more enforced to provide more stability. Walking shoes are typically a bit less cushioned than running shoes, since walking is lower impact than running.
Afterwards, we had a little cocktail reception in the gorgeous Stone Mill.
Gia and I hung out with our new BFF, Holly. We asked her how, if you’re a woman walking with a bag, you should compensate for form. Switch your bag from arm to arm, she told us. (I know that is actually easier said than done. It feels incredibly unnatural for me to put my bag on my left side.)
Do you ever walk explicitly for exercise? Whether it’s for exercise (as in, walking briskly to get your heart rate up) or just strolling – where’s your favorite place to walk? Mine is around my neighbor, Madison Square Park, with my friend Bailey, or on any beach.