The Mobility Blog Part 2-How To Stop Walking With your Head Down
This exercise will allow you to regain and maintain a more stable upright walking gait with your spine more aligned and your posture more upright. Do the exercise five times in a row slowly, five times a day, for five days. By the end of the fifth day, it will teach you how to easily reset or autocorrect the position of your head and neck when walking helping you engage your core muscles as you walk.
- Do the exercise in the morning. At or around noon, midafternoon, before or after dinner and before going to sleep. If you skip a day or you don’t do the exercise 5 times in a row slowly, 5 times a day for five consecutive you need to start the 5 days over.
- Sit in a chair. Make sure your spine is supported by either a pillow placed behind your back or you’re sitting in a chair that supports your spine with your head upright and centered over your shoulders.
- Start the exercise with your head upright and your line of sight straight ahead.
- Place a light book or notebook on top of your head so that it stays in place on top of your head without falling.
- Feel how the back of your neck is aligned and positioned when the book is on your head.
- Slowly drop your chin towards your chest until the book or notebook falls in your lap.
- Feel how straight the back of your neck is. Notice how your head is now positioned downward in front of the rest of your body and that the size of your visual field is now a fraction of what it was when your head was upright with your line of sight ahead of you towards the ground.
When you walk with your head upright and centered over your shoulders. With your line of sight towards the ground ahead of you and your feet contacting the ground from heel to toe. The arm on one side of the body and the leg on the other side of the body swinging forward and backward together in unison it maintains the natural alignment of the spine and engages and strengthens the core muscles as you walk. You look younger and feel younger because you're moving your body the way it was designed to move to maintain or regain upright posture, balance, and stability.
When you walk looking down at the ground in front of your feet the length of your walking stride becomes too short for your feet to contact the ground from heel to toe and engage your core muscles that maintain your body’s balance, upright posture, and stability. The top of your head, neck and spine become curved forward in front of the rest of your body and your spine stops maintaining its natural alignment with your head upright, aligned and centered over your shoulders. Your visual field becomes so small that unless something is right in front of your toes you won't see it or have enough time to safely step over it.
People who practice Tai Chi, martial arts, Qigong, yoga, and Ballroom Dancing maintain upright posture and their body’s alignment as they age. They move better, stay stronger and walk longer than other people their age. They fall less and have better long-term outcomes when they have an injury. It’s not their genes or a special diet that allows them to stay upright, walk longer and have better long-term outcomes after an injury. It’s how they move and the way they move all day every day that makes the difference. They’re easy to spot in a crowd because they keep their head upright and centered over their shoulders. Their feet contact the ground from heel to toe. The only time they look down towards their feet when walking is when they're on the stairs, in the dark, on a wet or slippery surface or when making a transition from on surface height to another.