There are many things we do in our daily life which, with a little awareness and just a bit of effort, become tools for healthy bodies. Mary Bonds, a postural specialist who is Chair of the Movement Faculty of The Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration has a lovely website,
healyourposture.com, that illuminates many such opportunities. One example explains how the tighter spaces that people increasingly find themselves walking through, the crowded sidewalks, aisles, small work areas and such, inhibit them from using a strong full stride. This habit of a limited stride leaches onto more spacious venues. Shambling along alters the dynamic benefits of properly pushing off of the back leg and foot. A purposeful toe-off, using primarily the big toe and also the next two toes, allows the hamstring to extend completely and then relax as it swings through to land the foot. Without this full movement the hamstrings' prime antagonist, the psoas, moves from a limited arc at its distal end inside the hip and remains perennially short.
By engaging the natural full give and take of the extensor and flexor a person is giving oneself a virtual massage, helping to avoid chronically tight hamstrings, a spasmed psoas, and at the same time walking more powerfully and efficientally.