Walking is fun and it is the most practical and easiest way to stay fit and healthy. Anyone can walk and enjoy the many benefits of this activity.
However, if you try to incorporate the principles of T’ai Chi in your walking technique, you can further enhance the benefits of walking.
For starters, Chi walking can create strength and balance while managing stress and improving overall health. The question now is how you can transform your walking technique so you, too, can be as fit as the people who are now Chi walking their way to health.
The first crucial step in Chi walking is to get yourself aligned. In terms of your physical health, it means improving your posture.
If you are able to achieve good posture, walking can be a lot more efficient. Good posture means aligning everything towards the long axis of the body. When you walk, it is important to keep this alignment in check to make your body move with greater efficiency.
Engage Your Core
Walking is all about maintaining the functionality of the lower extremities while supporting the movement of the torso. Right in the middle of all this are the core muscles. These are the groups of muscles that stabilise the pelvis, supporting the upper body as you walk.
They also make sure that the muscles of the lower limbs will move in a very efficient manner. It is, therefore, crucial to strengthen your core muscles. The aim here is to create stability.
In creating balance, it is important to determine the midline between the right and left sides of the body and between the upper and lower parts of the body.
Putting balance in your walking technique means maintaining the centre of gravity at all times. When you put one of your feet forward, there is a tendency for the body to compensate for this forward-shift in centre of gravity.
This compensatory mechanism is an attempt by the body to re-establish balance. However, if you make a conscious effort to maintain balance in your movements, then there is no need for compensatory mechanisms.
Make a Choice
Walking may be a very easy activity, yet there are some people who fail at it as an exercise. Everything begins with a conscious choice.
When we integrate the principles of T’ai Chi in walking, we make a very conscious effort to maintain our bodies in near-perfect alignment. We also choose to engage our core every time we move. And we always try to achieve balance in every movement that we make.
This is the culmination of making a conscious choice to achieve alignment, balance, and core engagement. Since we make that conscious choice to walk, then there is nothing left to do than to move forward. Chi walking is all about moving forward with direction, purpose, and balance.
The principles of T’ai Chi are not only applicable in walking. These movement principles can also have amazing implications in our other activities of daily living.