One of my favorite hobbies is people watching and turning sixty has added a new dimension to this hobby. More than ever, I find myself observing the stride of others, how people are walking.
Having an injury of my own has also made me more keenly aware of movement as I continue to do all that I can to maintain my saunter in spite of discomfort or pain. While staying at Rancho LaPuerta this past summer, a workshop on assessing one’s gait was offered. I now regret not taking that workshop. I wonder what further insights I may have garnered.
Ever notice that children would rather run, skip or jump than walk? They have so much energy. Eventually, they slow down to walking rather than running or skipping. I have observed is that in addition to everyone having their own special and particular way of walking, the longer one is on this planet the more likely that one’s stride will in some way become altered or compromised. In most cases, throughout our day there’s no real need to run, but being able to walk with strength and fluidity should be an on-going goal, not just for longevity but for quality of life.
An uneven stride may be due to a jury or mitigation or compensation of some type of acute or chronic pain. Have you noticed any unevenness or shortening in your own stride? Have you taken note of how you walk, your posture, the rhythm of your gait? Perhaps your stride is fine, but someone close to you may need to have their ability to walk smoothly, assessed.
An energetic, long, and even stride is typically an indication of vibrant health. Lack of exercise will eventually catch up to us as we become older; the gait will be shortened, will stiffen, and eventually become rickety. This diminishing of our carriage doesn’t have to be inevitable. We can continuously work on improving and strengthening our stride with exercise and treatments. A buoyant stride is an indication of exuberant health. Be proactive when it comes to your gait and get in stride.