We all know that walking is good for us. But what about walking backwards? The Chinese began doing this thousands of years ago and continue doing it today as they believe it postpones Alzheimer's and keeps their brains youthful. It is common to see old people walking backwards in a park and even at the edge of a crowded street.
The Chinese character for person is 人 which never made sense until seeing the picture to the right. Adding a head and feet make it look like a person.
Today, walking backwards has gained popularity throughout the world. It is regarded as the new way to enhance your workout. Why? Because it uses different muscles, is easier on the knees, and burns more calories. "Your balance increases. Your hearing increases. Your peripheral vision increases," said Badyna (pronounced Ba-Deena).*** [from USA Today, see below]
You can do it on a treadmill, up or down stairs or to avoid the paparazzi like Taylor Swift did on a hike. Tour guides are proficient at it. But in China, usually only old people do it.
Curious, I tried it myself. The chest opens and the body lifts towards the sky, whereas usually we walk leaning forward. You can see this contrast in the picture. The woman is walking backwards whereas the man is jogging forwards. It isn't boring like normal walking, and while it takes vigilance, it is surprisingly more relaxing than walking forwards.
I loved it, but what would teenagers think of it? So, I assigned it as homework. Admittedly, not all liked it and some complained of feeling dizzy or running into others. But most did and here are some of their comments: