women

Stay healthy, lose weight and feel fantastic. If you saw all those claims on a bottle of pills you’d think it was too good to be true. But walking can deliver all these fantastic results- and so much more. Plus, it’s fun, easy to fit into your life and it’s free!

Description: The No Time No Gym Get Fit Plan

We  know that waliking can offer amazing helth benefits.  Why? Beacause we have literally been there and got the walking bug after training hard and doing our first ever Moon Walk London back in 2010, walking a marathon (or half marathon) through the night in decorated bras to raise money to fight breast cancer. It was such an uplifting, life- changing experience that we have been hooked ever since. So this year, we are proud to do it again as part of our continuing media partnership with the event’s organisers, Walk the Walk. And we are hoping to inspire  you to join us and take the first step to a fabulous, cost- free way of boosting your mood, getting fit and feeling great. Whether your aim is fat burning, stress busting or just to look more toned, we have the approach that can help you achieve your goal. ‘Our mantra is: “If you think you can, you will”,’ explains Walk the Walk’s inspiring founder, Nina Barough. ‘It is a huge challende, and we rarely give our body challenges, but most of the people who do our walks had never done anything like it before. Walking is the ideal way to lose weight and improve fitness- the hardest thing is taking the first step.But you will find loads of help on our website(www.walikthewalk.org) and once you start to succeed, feel fitter and have more energy, it becomes addictive.’ So do not wait for the weekend, pull on your trainers, go outside and get moving.

Start with the basics

Description: A walk outside could also boost your wellbeing

A walk outside could also boost your wellbeing

Whether your goal is a 26- mile MoonWalk or half an hour round the park, het the basics right. ‘Comfort and practicality are key qualities,’ says Nina Barough. Wear layers of loose, comfortable clothing, which you can layer up or peel off. To achieve any health benefit from your walking, you need to manage at least 30 minutes’ brisk walking five or more times a week. Walk as if you are rushing to an appoitment- energetic and purposeful. Focus on how that feels- you should be breathing faster but still be able to talk, and feel your pulse, try the talk test- if you are panting so much you can not talk, it is too fast. If you can hold a tune, speed up. And get your walking posture right. Aim to walk  tall with your chin parallel to the ground, eyes focused ahead, shoulders relaxed  and bottom tucked in- the right posture will lessen strain on muscles and joints.

The good trainer guide

Whatever distance you are planning to walk, follow consultant podiatric surgeon Mike O’Neill’s guide to chooding the right trainers.

Step one

know your feet. ‘Everyoner is different and only 20% of people have “neutral” feet,’ says Mike O’Neill. Most either have a low arch, so your feet tend to roll inwards as they hit the ground, or high arches where shock absorption is an issue  because of the extra stress on the heel and for foot. It you are not sure about your feet, look at an old pair of shoes. If you have low arches, your shoes will show a slightly inward lean. With high arches, the lean will be slightly outward. Or try the wet- foot test. Make footprints on a tiled floor with damp feet. If the prinet shows almost the whole of the sole of your foot, you probably  have a low arch. With a regular arch, the band between the heel and forefoot will be around half the width of the foot, and with a high arch you will see only a narrow band between the forefoot and heel.

Step two

Buy from a reputable sports shop with trained staff- some shops have force plates of treadmills where staff can  assess your feet, but the most important part is the skill of the person doing it.  Avoid Saturdays when shops and staff will be busy. Take a few pairs of old trainers with you and take sports socks to try on with trainers- and for the best fit, buy shoes in the afternoon when your feet will have swollen.

Description: Best foot forward step outside to help safeguard your health

Best foot forward step outside to help safeguard your health

Step three

Find the right shoes for you- try four or five pairs before deciding. If you have a low arch, you need a stability trainer with extra support on the inside to prevent your feet rolling inwards, which can lead to inflamed tendons and heel, knee and shin pain. If you have a high arch, go for maximum shock absorption- without it there will be too much pressure on your heel and forefoot. Good fit is crucial, but do not make it too snug- you need wiggle room of about 1cn for your longest toe.

Step four

Description: walking

Put trainers on properly- put your foot into the shoe and tap your heel three times on the ground to lodge your heel in the back of the trainer. Lace up from the bottom, tightening the top part of the laces last- this ensures your heel is hirmly held by the shoe and your toes are not butting up against the end of the shoe. Also, ensure that your toenails are not too long and wear sports socks- ideally with thicker areas on the toe and heel.

Step five

Take it easy.  Do not do a five- mile walk in a new pair of shes- break them in gently by wearing them round the house and garden. If you suffer from sweaty feet, wipe your feet with surgical spirit before your walk to help dry them out and prevent blistering.

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