Retro Walking Has Many Benefits
Take a few steps backwards and improve your health.
If you are looking for a new activity, and especially if you are already an avid walker, here is a fun way you can change your routine and also gain additional health benefits. It’s called Retro walking, which is the term that describes stepping backwards instead of forwards. It may sound difficult but in time can be mastered. This activity is beneficial for relieving pressure on knee joints as it causes the body to utilize movements and muscles that are rarely used. Individuals with knee pain or other injuries to the knee area will find that walking backwards requires less range of motion and decreases strain on the joints.
When beginning this activity, if you decide to walk out doors, be mindful of fall risks and take precautions. It is wise to start in a secure location, such as an open field or a track where there is not a lot of activity. It’s a good idea to have a walking partner with you who can walk forward as you are retro walking. This way you can be warned of any impending danger. If your buddy is into backwards walking, you can reverse the roles and take turns looking out for each other.
Backward walking has numerous purported benefits that are over and above regular walking. It burns more calories in less time than when you walk in the normal manner and may improve hamstring flexibility, as well as relieve lower back pain. Retro walking, improves balance and is said to sharpen vision and cognitive skills. This should be great news for seniors who want to maintain their balance and prevent brain decline.
Researchers suggest that retro walking enhances cognitive control and sharpens thinking skills. Although walking backwards is a physical activity it engages the brain because you have to think about what you are doing. When walking in the traditional manner you don’t have to think, you just do it. When you walk in a unfamiliar way it causes your senses to go into over drive and helps you to stay mentally sharp. The same has been said of driving in a different direction than you normally do to reach a destination. We don’t have to think hard when using the same route but when driving on different streets it forces us to use our brains, which is referred to as neurotic activity.
Retro walking, is believed to have originated in ancient China, where it was practiced for the benefit of good health. In our modern world, walking backwards is quite popular in China, Japan, snd parts of Europe. This activity is being used to promote balance, build muscle, and improve sports performance. There may even be additional benefits that have not yet been realized. Walking backwards eliminates the heel-strike to the ground where the toe hits the ground first and can lead to changes in pelvis alignment that open up the facet joints in your spine. This may potentially alleviate pressure and relieve lower back pain.
Backwards walking engages leg muscles that are not used during regular walking. Your calves and quadriceps and calves,will get a work out, whereas when you walk the regular way it is your gluten and hamstrings that are utilized. Retro walking for just 10-15 minutes, a day is beneficial. When you do this four days a week for four weeks it engages your hamstring differently than traditional walking and increases hamstring function. Dr. Mercola days that walking backwards increases heart rate more than a brisk stroll in the normal manner at the same pace. This indicates that you should be burning more calories and obtaining greater cardiovascular benefits in less time than you would with traditional walking.