Having trouble walking is always something to worry about. If this is happening suddenly or as the result of an injury or another serious medical condition, you need to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
But if you are looking for tips when you have trouble walking due to weak muscles, poor posture, or joint stiffness, keep reading.
Tip #1: Work on improving your walking posture
Did you know that it was possible to not walk correctly? If you are having trouble walking, it could be because you have been struggling with a poor walking posture for a long time.
Try to be mindful of your walking posture and work on improving it.
First, always keep your head up, with your chin parallel to the ground. Make sure your shoulders are not hunched forward. Keep them down, loose, and relaxed.
For more balance and stability as you walk, focus on engaging your core muscles by pulling your belly button toward your spine.
Finally, always step from heel to toe and gently swing your arms while walking. Avoid touching the ground with your toes first or keeping your feet flat.
A better walking posture will improve your balance, keep your joints and bones aligned properly, reduce muscle aches and fatigue, prevent pain, and even reduce your risk of injury.
Of course, improving your posture takes time, but it is well worth the effort.
Tip #2: Don’t slouch or look down while you walk
This is worth repeating: if you are having trouble walking, stand tall while walking. Focus on keeping your spine straight, and don’t slouch.
You should also avoid looking down while you walk. Don’t look at your feet or phone; it only strains your neck and shoulders.
Try to keep your gaze forward and look about 10 feet before you. This should help make it easier for you to walk properly.
Tip #3: Use walking poles or a mobility walker
Walking poles or mobility walkers can be of great help to someone who has trouble walking.
Walking poles are not just for people who enjoy hiking. They can help you be more mindful of your posture while you walk and provide you with some support if your leg muscles are weak.
Mobility walkers come in different models. Having one could help you walk more easily if you feel pain or struggle to keep your balance.
Tip #4: Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes
Perhaps the fact that you are having trouble walking is a sign that you might need to go shopping for new shoes.
Make sure your walking shoes are comfortable and that they provide you with good arch and heel support. Maybe getting shoes with thick memory foam insoles would be a good idea.
If you are unsure which shoes would be good for you in your situation, don’t hesitate to ask for advice when you get to the shoe store. Alternatively, you could ask a healthcare professional to recommend the best shoes.
Tip #5: Stretch and exercise your legs regularly
If your legs are weak and stiff, gently stretching them before going for a walk should make it easier for you to walk.
Adding a few exercises to strengthen your leg muscles to your routine is another good idea. The stronger your legs get, the easier it should be for you to walk without any trouble or pain.
You should also research exercises to strengthen your back and core muscles and improve your balance. Perform them regularly, and your posture and stability should improve over time.
Tip #6: Try going for a short walk each day
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, it could explain why you are having trouble walking. Even if walking feels laborious, you should do it more often to gradually walk more easily.
Start by setting yourself some easy goals to achieve. For example, you could start by taking a short 5-minute walk each day. When it gets easier, make it a 10-minute walk.
And, of course, be mindful of your posture and use walking poles or a mobility walker if you need support.
Tip #7: See a doctor if you experience certain symptoms
These tips for when you are having trouble walking might not be of much use if you are experiencing certain symptoms.
Suppose you have trouble walking or are experiencing shooting pain in your legs, numbness, tingling sensation, stiffness, redness, warmth, or lower back pain. In that case, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, as you might require medical attention.