A lot of information is conveyed not only by how you stand or how you talk, but also by how you move. The style of walking conveys a lot of information about our self-confidence and our mannerisms. This is one reason why the body language coaches teach walking styles to their students.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should not slouch or hunch while walking. The back has to be straight and the spine must be erect. Your head must be upright and your eyes must be looking at the front. The chin must be up all the time. Most people look down while walking. This is not considered to be elegant. Moreover, if you slouch or hunch while walking, you will be considered to be weak and lacking in energy and enthusiasm.
Bad posture while walking, if continued for longer periods of time, can lead to back pain, stiff neck and other serious ailments.
It is recommended to use all your muscle groups in the legs while walking. While walking, try to visualize pushing off with your back foot using your hamstrings and quadriceps, and pushing yourself forward on to the heel of the other foot. Try to roll your foot forward, heel to toe. This helps the calf muscles to work and helps you to keep your feet at the correct angle at each step.
The next thing to keep in mind is to keep the shoulders pulled back, yet relaxed. Keeping a pulled back yet relaxed position of shoulders helps to maintain a stable and vertical column of support while you walk. Along with the straight back and chin up posture, this way of walking helps to reduce chances of injury. This posture also helps to exude confidence and strength.
While walking, the upper body also needs to come into play along with the legs. The arms have to swing properly to project confidence. The arms must move in smaller arc as you begin to walk. The faster you walk, the larger the arc must become. Movement of arms helps to gain a better stride.
The pace of the walk also matters a lot. While walking, the pace must be such that you can speak properly to a person while continuing your walk and should not appear breathless at the same time.
Walking smartly also involves not taking too long strides as you walk. Lengthening the gait stretches the leg muscles unnecessarily and leads to destabilization of the stride. Research has found that a little swag of the shoulders has a certain kind of sex-appeal associated with it.
While walking the hips must be level and the steps must be of equal length. You must bend your arms at 90 degrees at the elbow and swing properly with the opposite leg. This helps in gaining balance while walking. The knees must point forward and the pelvis must be tucked under the torso. The head should also not be tilted and must be held high. Last but not the least, land your heel first on the ground, and not the toe.