Proper posture involves much more than just being respectful to others. It can determine how fast you move, how efficiently your body works and how likely you are to develop back pain and other bodily problems. By using proper posture, you are able to actively use muscles throughout your back, hips and legs. This keeps these muscles healthy and accustomed to a certain level of work. It also improves muscles control, which can be very beneficial to your hips and your performance when walking or running, according to Health.com. Proper posture can be learned and implemented in a matter of minutes.
Straight out your back, allowing it to follow its natural curves, and tighten the stomach. Health.com suggests pulling your bellybutton in toward your spine to achieve this position. Your shoulders should be relaxed and pushed back, with your chest pointed out ahead of you.
Keep your head high and your chin up. Letting your head hang low or loose, or letting it bobble around as you walk, can place unneeded stress on your neck and disturb your balance when walking. Correct this by holding the head straight up and erect and pointing your chin out ahead of you. This balances the head and takes stress off the neck, reducing the risk of pain or injury in the neck. You're also likely to walk straighter.
Keep the muscles in your thighs and butt engaged. When walking, notice the stress and work placed on the individual muscles in your lower body. Lazy walking can sometimes let these muscles relax, which places extra stress on other parts of the body in an effort to compensate. Over time, this could cause injuries or soreness to develop. Utilize all the muscles when walking. If this feels unnatural at first, it is only because it is unfamiliar to you. Once you get accustomed to the method, you will engage your muscles without thinking about it.
Point your toes forward when you walk. Many people do this naturally on their own, but others may cock their feet when they want. This could cause an injury if you step awkwardly and tweak something in your foot or leg, and it also leads to imbalanced walking.