With the aspects of fitness including proper nutrition and hydration, the importance of physical activity still stands up high. Physical exercise shouldn’t be a necessity but a habit. Even with exercising, people resort to heavy workouts or jogging due to the fad fitness trends or they simply walk only during weekends, few people skip that too.
Walking in an “8” shape or infinity shape is much better than that of regular walking. It keeps you more focused. The focus also helps in maintaining a healthy pace of breathing. Plus, you can walk in the “eight shaped” anywhere, even in small places, which is less comfortable in regular walking. In this article, we will discuss what it is, its benefits, and how to do it. So, let’s start.
What is the “8” shape walking exercise?
“8” shaped walking is a very old (around the 1980s) form of walking practiced by Tamil Siddar and Yogis in ancient times. It was developed by clinical psychologist Deborah Sunbeck.
You must have driven your two-wheeler in the shape of 8 for your driving license. Similarly, 8 shaped walking or as the Westerners call it ‘ Infinity walking’, is walking in the shape of 8.
You can literally try this out anywhere, be it your terrace, parking space, small garden, or just outside your house.
8-shaped walking is not known to many people but once you start practicing this form of walking, you will be surprised by the number of health benefits it brings to the table.
While walking, keep your attention on the “8” shape which should be drawn in the South-North direction only. You can maintain breathing or say the OM mantra while walking. You can also use Yoga mudra to gain additional advantages. Barefoot walking is just icing on the cake!
8 Shape Walking Benefits
This exercise holds numerous benefits like relief from indigestion, knee pain, thyroid, obesity, constipation, shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, migraine, arthritis, joint pain, vision-related issues, etc. For people who cannot maintain time schedules or will to go for long walks, infinity walking is a win-win. Here are the surprising benefits that 8-shaped can do for your body and overall health:
- When you walk in the “8” shape in a North-South direction (against the earth’s magnetic field), your body absorbs energy and activates the chakras responsible for normal hormonal functioning.
- You can expect your body to experience full movements and twists. This helps in making the body more flexible.
- It is suggested that you walk barefoot which gives pressure on the acupuncture points and they get activated.
- The mind enhances cognitive function. Focus and concentration are increased.
- It also helps in better respiratory functions and eases the breathing process clearing the stuffy nose issues. Accordingly, it also cures sinus problems.
- Walking for 15-30 minutes in this shape regulates the blood circulation of your body and helps in equal distribution of it throughout all the organs and body parts.
- It also aids in digestion and favors smooth bowel movements thus curing GI disorders and constipation.
- Walking for 30-minutes daily in this shape facilitates weight loss. The results add on even better if you have a particular weight loss diet like intermittent fasting, going on alongside
- It also brings mental peace by relieving stress and calming your mind by releasing your “flight and fight” hormones, which are responsible to fight back stress and anxiety.
- You may also experience normal blood sugar levels if you are diabetic. However, you must consult your doctor beforehand in this case.
- It also increases eyesight in the long run and sustains good vision.
- The problem of insomnia and sleep apnea can also be cured by infinity walking. Moreover, infinity walking is a great solution for those who experience sudden headaches at night.
Note: The 8-shaped walk is not recommended for pregnant women or cancer patients.
How to practice Infinity walk?
There is a defined structure symmetry and way of proceeding with infinity walking. Here is how it’s done-
- You can use chalk, marker, tape, or paint to draw the “8” shape by joining two circles (each with 6 ft diameter) in opposite directions (one in north and one in south) on the floor. You can then simply walk on the marking.
- Or, take two chairs and keep at a 3 feet distance from each other.
- Now, stand in the center of the two chairs. And pick a direction to move forward. Let’s call this north.
- Start by going north around the first chair. Then come towards the south while making the shape of an 8 when you walk. And continue this North-South movement in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions for 15 minutes each.
When Should You Do “8-Shaped” Walking Exercise?
Infinity walk benefits most when you do it on an empty stomach in the morning or evening. When you have an empty stomach, the walk helps your body clean out the toxins it has collected.
The reason why you should do it in the morning or the evening is because you can walk under the sun at these times and also enrich yourself with the Vitamin D of the sun. You don’t want to be under the afternoon sun as its UV rays can be harmful.
You can even try “eight-shaped” walking in your room during your work breaks. This way, you will increase the movement of your body, which is necessary.
Plus, you will give your eyes a much-needed break from screens by using your work break to avail walking in 8 shape benefits than scrolling through Instagram or watching Netflix at the time.
Infinity or 8-shaped walking is a miracle exercise to reverse your health disorders, bring back energy and youthfulness, and most importantly, it caters to the overall fitness of the body.
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