Boost your walking workout and prevent injury with this stretching routine
For a balanced gait and fluid movement, flexibility is as important as strength is. These four stretches will help loosen you up. Hold each stretch for a slow count of 10; repeat three times. Aim to stretch every day.
Lie facedown with your hands under your shoulders. Push up with your arms, raising your head and chest off the floor while keeping your hips down. Only go as far as you can while remaining comfortable.
Targets lower back
Sitting on the edge of a chair, bend at the waist, dropping your head and chest to your legs while reaching your hands towards your ankles. Keep your belly tight. Don’t do this exercise if you have leg pain.
Targets front of thighs and hips
Rest your left hand on a table or chair for support. Bend your right knee, bringing your right foot towards your bottom. Hold your foot there with your right hand. Aim your bent knee towards the floor. Repeat with your left leg.
Targets lower legs
Stand about half a metre from a wall and place both hands on it. Step back with your left foot about 1 metre so that your right knee is bent and your left leg is straight. Keep your toes pointed straight ahead. Repeat with the right leg.
ADD SOME INCHES
Maintain balance as you walk: imagine growing taller, as though a string from the top of your head is pulling you up and slightly forwards, with your weight balanced on the balls of your feet. Keep your belly slightly tucked. With each step, strike the ground with the centre of your heel, roll onto the ball of your foot, and push off with your toes.