Recognizing & Changing Gait Patterns
Have you ever recognized a friend or a colleague from across a room or parking lot because of the way they were walking? We all have a unique gait pattern. So unique that there are research labs funded to develop tools to recognize gait patterns in order to catch criminals. That’s like using the way we walk the way you would a thumb print.
But here is the good thing if you have discomfort when walking (or apparently if you are a criminal)… You can change your gait pattern. Good actors will develop different walks for different characters. When I used to do theater we used to do walking exercises. You’d walk across the room as different people or with different emotions. Just think about how putting on a different outfit changes your gait and personality. I know I have a sportier lilt when I’m in my running shorts than when I’m dressed up for a spring wedding.
We learn to walk by watching those around us. So a child watches his mom or dad and picks up some of their traits. Then that child’s interests in life will influence his gait pattern. Did he dance, play sports, join the military? All those different modalities train you to hold and move yourself a certain way. Any injuries we incur over time can influence the way we move. Our walking pattern comes from a life of learning how and adjusting to our environment and societal norms.
But all of this means that if we have a problem or a concern with the way we walk, we can change the way we move. This is helpful to realize because it’s empowering. If you have pain during movement, you can retrain your muscles to help move you better. You are not stuck with the walk you were born with. You weren’t even born working. You learned how to walk and you can unlearn how to walk with bad habits and learn healthy ones.
The body is very adaptable.
Want to learn more? Come to our next Walking Workshop:
When: October 23rd through the Wethersfield Adult Education
Location: Wethersfield High School 411 Wolcott Hill Rd (cafeteria) from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Cost: $43 (includes tax), Plus $10 for optional materials