Walking, one of the aerobic exercises, has the advantage of being a whole-body exercise that improves body functions through complex movements of joints, muscles, nerves, and bones. In addition, since it is a safe exercise with no risk of injury, it has the advantage of being suitable for those who first started exercising, pregnant women, the elderly, and those who are recovering after treatment for a disease. In addition to the usual forward walking exercise, walking backwards also has a number of health benefits. So today, let’s take a look at the various effects that can be obtained from the backward walking exercise. effect of walking backwards
1. Muscle strengthening
When you walk backwards, you use the muscles that were not used well, and it helps to strengthen and develop the muscles in a balanced way. In particular, it has the advantage of strengthening the back part of the thigh muscles. The exercise process of walking forward mainly develops the quadriceps muscles, the muscles in the front part of the thigh, while the muscles and tendons in the back part of the thigh do not develop that much. Because a lot of force is applied to the back of the thigh during the process of walking backward, it strengthens the muscles and tendons in the back of the thigh, which act as a brake in the body. And it has the advantage of minimizing the risk of injury due to the development of these thigh muscles.
2. Reduce knee strain
When walking forward, the heel touches the ground first and the front of the foot touches the ground last. However, when walking backwards, the front of the foot touches the ground first, which reduces the impact on the knee compared to walking forward. Due to these characteristics, it is highly recommended for symptom improvement and rehabilitation treatment for people with bad knees or patients who have had knee surgery. In particular, in the case of degenerative arthritis caused by degenerative changes and cartilage damage, it can help to reduce the impact on the knee and prevent the progression of arthritis by using muscles and ligaments in areas that are not normally used.
3. Weight Loss Effect
It is said that walking backwards is more efficient than walking forward, so it consumes more energy even if you exercise for the same amount of time. It is said that because it uses muscles that are not normally used, energy consumption is about 30-40% more than that of walking forward. In addition, it is said that walking backward compared to walking forward is an unfamiliar motion, which puts the body in a state of tension and increases energy consumption.
4. Enhance brain function
The backward walking exercise stimulates cranial nerve function and activates the brain in the process of balancing so as not to fall. These related actions are said to be good for improving brain functions such as memory, memorization, and concentration, and to help prevent dementia. In addition, walking backwards uses various muscles and ligaments in the process of walking backwards, so it is said to have a good effect on improving movement disorders and paralysis caused by stroke. As a result of analyzing the effect of walking backwards on patients with partial paralysis due to stroke, a study result was published that the stability index improved compared to patients who received general physical therapy.
It is said that it helps to strengthen the cardiorespiratory function by increasing the heart rate and oxygen intake due to the excellent exercise efficiency effect of walking backward. It is also known to help improve motor functions such as balance, flexibility, and agility by paying attention to bones and muscles in order not to fall during the process of walking backwards. Precautions when walking backwards
Because walking backwards is performed while the back is not visible, walking at a high speed increases the risk of falling or slipping. In particular, it is recommended to walk slowly at a speed of 4 to 5 km/h, as it can cause falls or fractures in the elderly, especially those with weak bones. In addition, it is recommended to do it on a flat floor where there is no risk of collision and obstacles. And since walking backward is an unnatural motion that is not usually taken, it is recommended to shorten it by 5 minutes as it is known that doing it for too long can cause physical and psychological stress.