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Walking Backwards, These Are the Benefits for Health

The benefits of walking for health do not need to be doubted. Yes, walking is an easy and fun way to increase physical activity without effort and excessive energy. However, if you want to get maximum benefits, you can try to walking backwards.

Have you ever seen someone or a group of people exercising on foot backwards? Even though it looks funny, in fact the retreat is beneficial for health. Walking backwards is popular in Japan. One reason is that more calories are wasted than walking forward.

Benefits of walking

Before discussing the health benefits of walking backwards, you should know the general benefits of walking exercise. Many people consider trivial problems on foot. That's because according to most people, getting a healthy body must be taken by exercising to extremes, avoiding a lot of food, and also taking vitamins or drugs.

In fact, without realizing it, walking can actually improve your body's health. It looks very simple and the effect that is caused is not immediately felt, different from exercising in a fitness center or playing futsal.

Every time we walk for 1 hour, our life expectancy increases by 2 hours. In addition, because walking includes aerobic exercise, it is also beneficial to improve fitness, especially lung resistance.

Benefits of walking backwards

Walking backwards is similar to a very fast road or a relaxed run. In other words, the intensity is higher than normal walking. You can also improve balance and exercise for some muscles that you don't use frequently when walking.

So, what are the benefits of walking backwards? Here's the review.

1. Burn 40 percent more calories

Sports energy expenditure for walking backwards is measured and rated in the Compendium of Physical Activities, along with hundreds of other physical activities. Brisk walking with a speed of 5.6 km per hour produces 4.3 MET (metabolic equivalents), while walking backwards at that speed produces 6.0 MET.

That is, there is an increase of 40 percent of the calories you burn per minute walking backwards. For information, metabolic equivalents are objective measures of the ratio of the rate at which a person releases energy.

If you walk backwards uphill at a rate of 5 percent, you almost double your energy expenditure, producing 8.0 MET compared to 4.3 MET for levels running in the usual forward direction. This increase in calories burned can be beneficial. This is a good way to increase the higher intensity intervals for your walking exercise.

2. Improve brain function

When you walk backwards, of course you will experience higher difficulties than going forward, right? You are required to focus more while being able to adjust balance. Now, this is why backtracking means training your brain to do difficult tasks.

Based on the results of research conducted by researchers from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, it is known that the level of concentration needed when you walk backwards is as intense as the concentration needed when you are facing danger. This makes the researchers draw conclusions if walking backwards can improve brain function because it makes you more focused when doing it.

3. Balance and benefits of therapy

Studies of healthy adults and children show walking backwards can improve balance. It also trains your muscles and joints.

Adding a little walk backwards to your routine is good for everyone. This is mostly done by athletic trainers so that their athletes get balance. This can be a fun way to add balance training.

In addition to using walking backwards in exercise, physical therapists use walking backwards in a rehabilitation and therapy program for knee problems, strokes, and Parkinson's disease.

4. Other benefits

A study published in the Journal of Biomechanics also found that backward pathways can reduce anterior knee pain when compared to going forward. Another study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that a combination of walking backward and walk forward can improve heart fitness and change body composition.

Prevention tips to avoid injury

If you are ready to start walking backwards, think first about security. You must practice walking back and forth in an area free of obstacles, such as trees, rocks and gravel, and highways. This is done to minimize the potential for injury.

1. Treadmill

This is the safest training ground. Start at slow speed. When you become more proficient, you can increase the speed and intensity. Treadmills can be a good way to add intensity to walking backwards and get the benefits of exercise from walking backwards with a heavier treadmill spin.

2. In the room

You can practice indoors. However, choose a place where you can safely walk backwards, such as not near stairs, furniture, or pets that can make you stumble. Hallways can be a good choice.

3. Special tracks running

Using special tracks running indoors or outdoors is a safer option to reduce the danger of tripping. Walk in the same direction as other track users to minimize potential collision.

4. Ask for help from colleagues

It's hard to find a safe area to walk backwards outdoors for a long time. For that, ask for help from your colleagues who are walking forward. Later, your partner can remind you that there are obstacles behind you, such as holes, steps on the sidewalk, rocks, debris, and puddles of water.

5. Walk backwards with colleagues

If you walk with family or friends, turning and walking backwards while chatting can add a little fun. Walking back and forth with your partner is also a good idea.

You can start trying walking backwards because the benefits are better than regular walking. However, always pay attention to security to prevent you from injury. You can ask other people to help keep an eye on you while walking backwards.



1. Ncbi (2018). The effects of graded forward and backward walking on heart rate and oxygen consumption.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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