There are a lot of ways the human body can move. But there is one movement that definitely takes the cake as our principle movement. That would have to be walking. It works the body in many important ways, especially when the body is loaded properly.There are ways to make walking a more effective, full body exercise. Walking on pavement in urban areas is better than not walking at all, but it leaves out a lot of variety. If this is the best you can do right now, a great first step is to walk wearing less shoe or even go barefoot. Check out this post on my favorite pair of shoes to see if they’ll work for you!
Another small thing you can do is to not walk on the pavement. Many places that have a paved sidewalk also have a little strip of grass or dirt next to them. Walking on this less even footing forces your feet, ankles, knees, and hips to deal with more angles. This small step will build healthier and more stable leg joints than stepping on very similar footing repeatedly.
If you can manage it, get to a local park whenever possible for your walk. Not only will you get more varied terrain than in your paved neighborhood. You’ll also get the added benefit of the hormonal, emotional, and mental benefits of being in nature. If your park isn’t flat land, but instead has hills you have to navigate, great! This creates even more angles your leg joints have learn to cope with.
If you really want to take your walk to the next level, find a place you can walk through the woods that doesn’t have a trail. You will have to move in a completely different way than if you were negotiating a trail! You will have to squat under things, climb over things, and move around things. You’ll be getting the movement buffet you’re supposed to have!
Humans should be walking on average about 3 miles a day. You can divide this up in to several walks a day, or knock it out at once. You can have a few really long walks during the week and a few really short walks during the week. It’s a great idea to mix your walks up. They’ll be more interesting and it’ll provide you with more varied physical stimulation.