Even if you don't "exercise" as often as you're supposed to (who has time? As I've admitted before, I find any workout that requires changing into gym clothes and taking a shower afterward to be nearly impossible to schedule) you do walk. And I just stumbled across a new way of using your legs to get you from point A to point B that promises to give you the gravity-defying tush of a young Brazilian babe while simultaneously protecting your middle-aged joints from damage. In her latest email newsletter, Esther Gokhale, the author of 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back and the founder of the Gokhale Method, recommends we should move around using a technique she calls Glidewalking:
How to Glidewalk: 1. When initiating a stride, relax the muscles around the hip joint of the moving leg, and engage the lower buttocks muscles of the back leg to propel the body forward. 2. Towards the end of the stride, use the upper buttock muscles of the back leg to gently land the front foot on the ground. Try to avoid free-falling to the ground. This technique strengthens the buttock muscles, giving you firmer, higher buttocks."
I find the part about using your back butt muscle to guide your front foot to the ground, rather than just dropping or pounding that front leg down, especially interesting—it absolutely makes sense that this would be easier on your joints, and of course all of that buttock engaging has got to be great for tightening the derriere. When you get a chance, definitely explore Esther Gokhale's website, especially if you suffer from back pain. Her site is packed with testimonials from people who say that the techniques she advocates (for proper, back-friendly sitting, standing, stretching, etc.) have cured them of all sorts of pain, disc disease, sciatica and more, and her Amazon reader reviews are gushing love letters—it's rare to see such uniformly positive reader reviews. I, knock wood, haven't suffered any serious back or joint pain yet (maybe a happy side effect of my allergy to strenuous exercise?) but will definitely dig into Gokhale's book if I ever do.