Why Humans are Built to Walk and Run
You may not have to run on a daily basis today, but it was a necessity in the past. In fact, researchers and biological professors will tell you the human body was built for long distance running and walking.
You have all the tools to walk or run to a better lifestyle and a nuyu™ Activity Tracker can give you a little extra help starting up. Still don't believe that you were made to tackle foot race? Read on.
Built to Outrun Any Animal
When it comes to traversing long distances, humans take the cake as the most physically fit mammal. From your springy Achilles tendons to your long-legged bipedal motion, many physical qualities actually make men and women incredibly apt runners. Even the ability to sweat through your pores makes the human body the prime performer for running long distances in hot, arid conditions - better than all other animals, in fact!
According to a paper in the journal Sports Medicine collaborated on by professors from Harvard and University of Utah, humans were built for better long distance running compared to all other animals. In fact, when it comes to marathon-length distances, humans could even outrun horses in heated conditions, according to the researchers.
How Are You Supposed to Walk?
Hold your horses, though. You don't want to challenge Seabiscuit to a race just yet. Much like all other fit activities, your form is crucial when walking and running.
Start slow. Here are your must-know tips for walking with correct form:
- Look forward - craning your neck to look at the ground can cause soreness over time
- Keep your chin parallel with the ground, as it helps keep your neck up straight
- Focus on keeping your back straight with your head held high
- Your arms should swing naturally with your stride, and your right arm should swing forward with your left leg and vice versa for better balance
- Keep your shoulders loose
- Slightly tense your stomach muscles
- Gently transfer pressure from your heel to the ball of your foot as you walk.
Running uses many of the same tenets. Your back should remain straight but not rigid. Your arms should swing naturally. They arms won't move as fast as your legs, so don't worry about moving the opposite arm with the opposite leg. It's all about keeping your shoulders loose and feeling comfortable. Keep your head held high as before, but try to keep it stationary. Don't bob up and down with your strides or move from side to side.
"Focus on form but don't be discouraged if it takes some getting used to."
The biggest difference in walking and running is where your weight is balanced on the foot. While walking, you'll naturally move from the heel to the ball of your foot with each step. While running, it's better to keep your weight on the ball of your foot. This will absorb more shock from the impact of your foot on the ground's surface and take tension off the knees. While running at a full sprint, you'll feel as though you're moving on your toes. For a more moderate jog, it's common to fall on your midfoot by the arch and ball.
Remember, as with many exercises, running is a situation where practice makes perfect. Hit the trail and focus on form, but don't be discouraged if it takes some getting used to and a little extra thought. Start with a nice, easy walk and gradually move to a moderate run. You'll be tearing through your route with perfect form in no time!