The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) cites gait as a primary indicator of health in a individual: “Researchers found that predicting survival based on gait speed was as accurate as predictions based upon age, sex, chronic conditions, smoking history, blood pressure, body mass index, and hospitalization.”1
In addition to speed, what Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement® therapists look to facilitate is awareness, responsiveness and variability in gait. Nature has provided us with 26 bones in each foot for a reason-they dance with each step! Variability is also shown to be essential for healthy heart function, too.
So, when you walk, don’t always go for the regular, smooth path. Uneven surfaces, grades of incline and changing speed and direction is good for your gait, your feet, your heart and your overall health!
1. From Fahey, Brian, “Your Fate is your Gait”, Structural Integration, the Journal of the Rolf Institute, June 2011, Vol. 39, No. 1: 1Sudenski, Stephanie, “Gait Speed and Survival in Older Adults.” JAMA, January 5, 2011; 305 (1), pp. 50-58.