Retro Walking is nothing but walking backwards. Yes walk backwards by looking over your shoulder.
The Backward Walking or Retro Walking is said to have originated from China where people have practiced it for good health. Retro Walking became quite a rage in Japan and some parts of Europe as people took to this to build muscle and to improve their performance at sports. When you walk backwards it puts less stress on the heals which leads to changes in the pelvic alignment. This would inturn help to open up the facet joints in your spine, potentially alleviating pressure that may cause lower back pain in some people. Walking backwards also puts less strain on the knee joints thus making it ideal for people who have chronic knee problems or knee injuries.
This has been proved medically to be a very good solution for those who have lower back pain and for those who have knee problems. How easy or difficult it is to walk backwards something which can be answered only when you try that. Research has proved that 100 steps Retro Walking is as good as 1000 steps of normal/conventional walking.
There are basically 10 benefits that you would get by doing Retro Walking:
- The muscles of the front (tibialis anterior) and back (gastro/achilles) of the shin and ankle are strengthened, owing to the increased strain of performing an unfamiliar exercise.
- Walking backward increases cardiovascular endurance significantly more than walking forward under the same conditions.
- We expend more energy and burn more calories than those who work out at the same pace consistently for a longer duration. When engaging in a new activity which requires a greater effort, we exert ourselves more. The increased metabolism will result in weight loss for those who press on.
- Studies have shown that using other muscle groups by performing different exercises protects our muscles and tendons from overuse. The knee joint and the patella joint (the joint where the kneecap glides on the knee), in particular, benefit from backward walking.
- Adding a new activity to our regular exercise routine prevents boredom, so we are less likely to stop exercising.
- For those over 50, improving our balance and coordination is even more important. Backward locomotion improves the functions of our cerebellum which coordinates and balances our bodily movements as well as flexibility.
- Because we are on the constant lookout for danger and obstacles on our path, practically all of the five senses (and even the sixth) are sharpened.
- Our reflexes are sharpened at the same time.
- It can help prevent the development of a hunchback.
- It promotes blood circulation and prevents lumbago.
I have decided to do RetroWalking as part of my daily walking routine and walk backwards atleast for about 500 meters a day, to start with.
Mr.Mani Manithan has been walking backwards for the last 25 years in his private protest against war and violence. He lives in Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu, India and has been consciously walking backwards for the last 25 years. He says he started walking backwards not to turn his back his back against violence but to attract attention of people and make them think of ways to bring about world peace. He even maintained silence for nearly 17 years from 1989 to 2006 and during this period he refused to talk even one word.
After 25 years of walking backwards, Mani has forgotton how to walk normally like everyone else. He says he has become comfortable walking backwards and now it is almost impossible to walk forwards. Hats off to Mani Manithan for whatever he has been doing so far to create the awareness on world peace.
Whilst it is important to work towards World Peace, it is difficult to emulate what some of the people are doing to achieve it. At best we can admire them and try to get inspired by them.
22nd November 2014