Do aches and pains, or perhaps injuries, prevent you from
enjoying walking as a form of exercise?
Learn to walk and run correctly to eliminate pain and stress in your body.
The only time you can fully implement all of the elements of Gliding is while you are walking or running.

Walking and Running

 

If injuries, aches, and pains prevent you from enjoying walking as a form of exercise, remember that the way you walk may be the cause of your pain; learning to walk correctly can eliminate pain and stress in your body.

Ambulating (walking or running) is an aerobic, repetitive, weight-bearing activity that uses the body as its own weight-resistance gym. Every walk or run is a perfect opportunity to let body parts swing freely, to improve posture, and to contribute to shape shifting. Any wonkiness, no matter how slight, can translate into significant stress in your body.

Because they can get from Point “A” to Point “B”, some believe that they know how to walk and run. Although it seems that walking correctly should be something that we all do automatically, it is not. I believe that, like breathing, walking and running are acquired skills, not to be taken for granted. A few years ago, I read, in “Runner’s World” magazine, a letter from a reader who complained that he had been running for 3 years but his shape had not improved. He obviously was not Gliding!

How do we turn ambulatory time into form-building exercise? By Gliding! A runner who was accustomed to returning exhausted and in pain from each of his daily 30-minute fast runs on a flat surface was surprised when 90 minutes of run-Gliding with me, up and down hills, left him refreshed and exhilarated!

To Walk or to Run?

There is a popular notion that walking is low-impact and that running is high-impact. I do not believe that the truth is as cut and dried as this, and I believe that the reverse can also be true (that walking can cause greater impact than running does, depending on how you walk or run). Running, done properly, can deliver less impact than walking. Gliding emphasizes how you walk or run, not which of the two you prefer, and so the choice of walking or running is one that I cannot make for you, even though I invented Gliding while ambulatory, and I (now) prefer running.

Even though I now prefer running to walking, this was not always the case. My preference shifted (and went back and forth) both in response to my learning about how to run and to walk and in response to the shape shifting of my body as a result of Gliding. It is all in how you walk and how you run, and there are several factors to consider.

Walking, if not done properly, is harder on the knees than running, and delivers greater impact to the knees and other body parts than running gracefully does. While walking, the time it takes to transfer your weight from one foot to the other is longer (than while running) and so the descending pressures last longer and apply more strain on body parts. Walking requires you to spend more time with the weight of gravity on your hips and legs, which can be painful (especially if you are overweight or out of shape).

Running is a graceful form of movement and exercise that does not involve “pounding the pavement” (literally) and that is approached gradually (we do not start running quickly from standing still). Sudden exercise is not beneficial for any of us (even a seasoned athlete’s body suffers rapid exhaustion as a result of sudden exercise). A friend of mine is a squash instructor. She tells me that it takes her a full hour to be sufficiently warmed up for strenuous activity.

There was a time when I could not run, and walking became the perfect tool for me. When I could run, I did (even though at first I did it all wrong and derived no benefit, and so abandoned running until my own body taught me how to run-Glide). It seems to me that walking is more physically demanding and more tiring than running. During the 1990s a dog trainer told me that my dog will get just as tired from walking and training as she would from running around a park. Over the years, observing my own dogs and looking at my own feelings about walking being more tiring than running, it seems to be the case that dogs prefer to run or trot than to walk and that people tire more quickly from walking than from running.

It seems that as you increase your speed, running approaches floating or flying, as if your weight (or gravity) is reduced. Even though Groucho walking would appear to have a lot of gravity connected to it, it seems that the long stride and the brisk pace make it easier than “just plain walking”. Once while I was walking (very slowly) with two friends (one aged, and the other vision-impaired), I noticed that the length of time that it took to shift my weight from one foot to the other was such that the duration of the gravity on each step made me feel so heavy that I had to pick up the pace, walk on ahead (and then turn around and walk back).

Learning to walk or run correctly is as simple as learning to Glide, and your own body teaches you that! In this chapter, I describe how it all came together for me, very naturally, as a result of putting it all together, and then walking (and/or running).

Running

The body does not respond well to sudden exercise. Even a conditioned athlete, starting from an inactive state, would show signs of exertion after a sudden short spurt (even as brief as running after a bus!). I believe that many of us avoid or abandon running because we equate it with sudden exercise and with the unpleasant huffing and puffing that results. When I first took off at what I thought was a run, but with no idea of form, it hurt in so many places that I stopped “running”, but continued my excursions, to shake out the kinks. While walking, I practiced and integrated the elements of Gliding. One day, Gliding and walking spontaneously united. I broke into a painless run that is very much like floating (walking with the lower body and running with the upper body).

Running can be harmful, but does not need to be harmful! Done properly, running allows the body to take full advantage of its elasticity and spring, which is why I now have a distinct preference for running over walking (you cannot run like an animal while you are walking). Runners get very tight, especially if trying to run fast. It bothers me when I hear about people who had to stop running because they damaged themselves doing it (especially the knees, but also the back, feet, shins…).

Because run-Gliding is not concerned with speed, it does not put extra stress on your body. Walking with the body-attitude of running (walk as if you were running, but slowly) puts your body into its running form. Once you are warmed up, to change from walking to running, you need only increase your pace. If you are tired or are faced with a steep incline, you can slow your pace to a walk, still maintaining the body-attitude of running.

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Summary
Walking and Running
Article Name
Walking and Running
Description
Do aches and pains, or perhaps injuries prevent you from enjoying walking as a form of exercise? Learn to walk and run correctly to eliminate pain and stress in your body. The only time you can fully implement all of the elements of Gliding is while you are walking or running.
Author