A simple walk can have many health benefits, both physical and mental. In fact, it is usually the recommendation for people who are not used to physical exercise, as a transition to something more intense. Even those who carry out very demanding exercise routines can alternate them with a good walk. In any case, it is usual to choose to walk forward, as is logical. However, as recently explained in The Conversation Jack McNamara, professor of clinical exercise physiology at the University of East London, the benefits of changing direction can be enormous.
It is true that walk backwards it is much more demanding. He goes forward practically alone. But, precisely for this reason, it also supposes more benefits. For example, it improves stability and balance and muscles and joints are strengthened, so it has great benefits for conditions such asplantar fasciitis, knee osteoarthritis or low back pain.
In addition, more energy is expended, so body fat is reduced more than walking forward. It can be awkward and weird if we do it on the street. But we can take it only as a training prior to normality, since our body will be much more prepared to take advantage of all the resources of walk forward.
The benefits of walking backwards
As McNamara explains, in order to walk and keep our balance our body must coordinate visual, vestibular and proprioceptive systems. The first is well known, the second is associated with the sensations of twist, twist, or move quickly and the last one is the one that helps us to be aware of the body position.
That coordination is relatively easy when we walk forward. However, when walking backwards it is a biggest challenge. The brain takes longer to process the union of all the information released by the three systems, but in the long run that means an improvement in balance. If the difficult is done, the easy comes out alone. Furthermore, in patients with neurological damage you can check the difficulty in balance in a more effective way.
On the other hand, when walking backwards we use smaller steps. This provides greater resistance to lower leg musclesand also reduces the load on the joints, which is why it is so good for osteoarthritis patients.
Finally, changes are generated both in the posture of the feet as of the spinewhich benefit people with plantar fasciitis and chronic low back pain.
How is it done?
Logically, it is best to walk backwards in a closed place where we have awareness of possible obstacles. On the street it can be dangerous.
Once the place has been chosen, it is important walk without turning your necklooking straight ahead and head and chest up.
Once this is done easily, you can increase the difficulty by running faster, or even using a treadmill. can also be dragged weightstarting with a low one and increasing little by little.
The author of the study advises, for example, dragging weight on a sled, since this way it is easier not to fall. All this may seem very strange, but the truth is that the Benefits They are more than proven. Do you have a long hallway at home? You lose nothing by trying.