If you were given 172,280,000 steps in a lifetime, how many would you waste? How many would you use to beget more walking or better yet running? According to an article on LIVE SCIENCE, Catrine Tudor-Locke, director of the Walking Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the average person will take around 5,900 steps in a day. If we divide that theorectical lifetime step count by 365 calendar days, we get 80 years, which is around the current average lifespan of humans. It has only been 6 years since I've looked at all my walking as an opportunity to protect my ability to continue to walk as well as run. I know I've wasted a large portion of my walking steps in many of the years prior to learning attributes of healthy movement.
While I haven't walked as poorly as a zombie in the past, I remember some pretty awkward gaits in baggy pants during high school. Walking with purpose is part of my strategy now to maintain part of my independence throughout life. If I live into elderly ages, I do not want to be dependent on a walker, cane, or a wheelchair. I've led an active life thus far, and feel confident my lifetime average step count in 32 years is closer to 8,000 steps a day. To account for those early years in diapers, when there was not a lot of walking going on, I'd bet my step count ranges from 85 - 90 million. Not bad. But moving forward, what can I do to continue to maximize my walking opportunities? I met up with my friend and colleague Dr. Mark Cucuzzella for some insight at his new walking and running store that specializes in healthy shoes and healthy movement.
1. GET BALANCED
2. ENGAGE BODY ELASTICITY
3. USE YOUR BIG TOES
Lazy big toes do not allow for full extension at hips, active big toes do. Watch the difference in timing between the two, notice how with lazy big toes the back leg does not extend beyond the four bolts on the back of the TRUEFORM RUNNER? Also,lead foot is almost in full contact with the ground before the back foot is toeing off. With active big toes, the back foot extends beyond the bolts on the deck, and lead foot is just beginning to touchdown on the heel, while the back foot is toeing off. Such timing allows for "softer" walking because the body is in a better position to transfer weight and elasticity!
Walk with purpose to maintain and improve your ability to walk for a lifetime, to make you less prone to running injury, and to keep your independence!
If you would like to learn more about walking health check out The Natural Running Center.