I typically walk my huskies every day-separately- through the great little city called Stanfield, NC. I get a workout, I get my vitamin D, and my huskies get a little bit of the energy out of them.
Anyways, Stanfield has some hills to climb. On one of the hills which is a back road, I can walk backwards to face the sun to work on my tan while they get walked. The sunlight is in perfect alignment with the hill at that time of day I walk my two canines.
So as I am getting my wanted solar satisfaction, I can tell I am also getting to work some different muscles than I am used to. That made me get to wondering what else-if anything-walking backwards is good for.
So what did I do? I googled that sh*t!
Turns out that backwards walking, also called retro walking, is good for you in a lot more ways than just working different muscles in your legs. It actually was started in ancient China(like no-one ever walked backwards before that, apparently).
So what did I do next? What I always do: share my new knowledge. I never knew in my last 49 years in this Universe that backwards walking is a thing!!
So below is a list of things that retro walking does for you:
- less strain on the knees for the unfortunate ones who has problem with them. If you think about it, not using the usual heel to toe walking action leads you to have less impact on your knees.
- The different walking motion helps to realign your pelvis which has helped some people alleviate back pain.
- the different leg workout helps strengthen calves and quads and actually helps the flexibility of your hamstrings
That was the mechanics advantages of backwards walking, but it is actually a better workout for your heart, meaning higher cardiovascular workout and better calorie burning…who knew?!?
So now what you all actually came for: Your brain advantages…
- backwards walking sharpens your thinking skills because you are focusing on a new thing you are not used to doing. It’s a neurobic activity(helps you stay mentally sharp).
- backwards walking enhances cognitive control pretty much for the same reasons. New things. Your brain always craves novelty.
- backwards walking puts your senses into overdrive since you are moving in an unfamiliar way which actually enhances vision. I read that in two different articles of research so I am going with it.
Now obviously walking backwards has its pros, but it also has its cons: you may not know where the heck you are going or trip over something or off a curb to your peril. Rest assured, I have walked my hill backward many, many times so I am familiar with my route. I follow the asphalt mark in the middle of the road and know the trees above me(remember I am also working on my tan).
The reason I am saying this is that some may not have it as convenient as I but you can also do this on a treadmill-starting slowly of course. You can even work up to running if you are brave and/or daring enough. Pushing your limits is obviously the key here.
So there you go: More from me to you. I ask and you ascertain. Or maybe you already knew. Either way, comment if you would like and most definitely share this great new way I learned to optimize myself.