29 October 2013

My year of walking (a la Katy Bowman)

Humans were made to walk miles every day. It's the hunter-gatherer thing we did for so long, of course.

In my last post I explained how I've been intrigued by the blog (and now one of the books) of Katy Bowman, who's right into this stuff. So now I'm walking a lot, and was able to do lots of it over the holiday weekend we've just had. It was gorgeous stuff, for the body, mind and family & friends feeling.

The thrill of a dead bird. Well, part of it.
Baby mussels on a rock.

Raglan beach is a wonderful place. Especially if you have
a warm jacket.
Here's what I'm doing a bit differently while I walk as a result of 'What Katy says', and the sheer common sense her approach oozes:

- I'm barefoot or close to it (i.e. my Keen footwear, not rigid, foot-can't-flex, shoes.) (The Keen shoes I have and love are similar to these. Very durable and get me lots of compliments.)
- feet straight ahead. Like many people my feet tend to point out when I work - too many years of dance training I think. Of course, close inspection reveals that our feet are designed for the weight to transfer from the centre of the heel to the longest, strongest toes, not from the outside of the heel to the side of the big toe. It's hard to remember to point my flippers straight ahead, but actually feels fine.
- weight going firmly through heels, where there's solid tough bone to take the impact. For ever, perhaps, my weight's been forward over my toes, where there is a cluster of delicate bones and joints prone to deforming. Hence my foot shape, below. Ugly and hard to find wide shoes for. It's also amazing how much more the buttocks work when the weight is back on the heels. Easy butt shaper, I think?

I have to shift my pelvis/bottom back to put the weight through my heels. Hence the spine position changes. Hence... the whole stance changes. Wow. That's why Katy's first book is about FEET.

(Try standing in a way that's normal and comfortable for you. Can you lift your toes easily? If your weight is far enough back, you should be able to.)

My left foot points out a bit further than the right when I'm not thinking about it (i.e. not in this photo), and the left foot is correspondingly more spread. I wasn't born with these feet, I walked and ran (ran a lot) them into this shape! But no bunions - phew, no bunions. Small mercies. At least now I have the information to make sure that never happens, either.

I doubt it will be just a year of walking. Probably a life. It's great.


  1. Replies
    1. Indeed they are not petite feet... at least not in width. Not overly big in length for my height, though. Best of all, they work well and painlessly!

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  5. Glad to know this type of walk training works for you. Do you think this footwear can be the best nursing shoes as well?


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