A modified catwalk style will not be of much use if our inner goddesses are suffering from severe foot pain. For that we need a more efficient, physiologically based system. My source is Roy Siegel, D.C., a Manhattan chiropractor who has treated thousands of professional dancers, runners, and other world-class athletes. He, too, advises first checking your posture by positioning your back against a wall with your chin parallel to the floor.
The shoulders: Rather than throwing your shoulders back like a runway model, hold them out to the side and down.
The hands: Turn your thumbs forward, which will keep your shoulders open.
The head: To lengthen the neck and spine, imagine that your head is floating above your shoulders.
The feet: You'll know when you're walking with a gait that's good for your body when you can feel your entire foot "moving through the arch and pushing off with the big toe," Siegel says. (This is an experience you are unlikely to have in high heels.)
The pace: Siegel advises a moderate pace when feasible and warns that on long walks, moving too slowly puts extra stress on your joints. A brisk pace—gliding, not bobbing up and down—is optimal.
I still don't deserve a posture band, but I've begun to use some of my tutors' walking tips. I try to remember to rotate my thumbs forward to open up my shoulders, and to keep my head level and floating. I am seeking a chic backpack and a pair of walking shoes that let me feel my whole foot moving. Hillary and I have both made a point of modifying our pace unless we have to get somewhere in a hurry. (Truth in reporting: We live in New York City, where speed is almost always the goal.) It would be nice to inspire the awe that a goddess does and make an impression on everyone I pass, but even if no one notices, I have found that an unhurried walk makes me feel more in command of my body and calms my mind.
We Hear You!