The fat burning power walk

Description: The fat burning power walk

To burn fat and shed pounds, you need speed- just walking briskly for 45 minutes a  day, four times  a week, you can lose 18lb over a year! Nina Barough of Walk the Walk recommends power walking- walking at up to five miles an hour (that is a mile in 12 minutes), with your elbows at 90 degrees pumping back band forth. The pinhping helps propel you along and provides a good upper body workout. You need to push off each stride from the toes with a straight back leg for strength and stability. Or you can buld intervals into your walks. Walk at a normal, brisk pace for 10 minutes, then increase your pace to as fast as you can without breaking in to a run for 30 seconds, before returning to normal  for five minutes.

Gradually increase the length of the intervals to a maximum of three minutes with 10 minutes’ brisk walking between each one. Or try  walking one fast mile followed by one slower mile. To walk fater, take more steps rather than lengthening your stride, which can increase the strain on your feet and legs.

The workout walk

Description: The workout walk

Adding toning moves and pushing yourself to work  harder will help turn  your walk into a total body workout. Try these simple additions to impove the toning effect.

Vary the terrain- walking on soft surfaces like grass, mud or sand makes leg muscles work harder and burns more calories.

And hills to increase calorie  burning and help tone your hips and buttocks. When walking uphill, watch your posture, keeping the  spine long walking downhill can be harder on your bady (especially knees) than walking uphill, so slow down sightly, keep your knees slightly bent, and try to pull in your abdominal miscles to keep your pelvis stable.

Use trees en route to do an upright plank: lean forward at a 45- degree angle against the tree, arms straight out, weights mainly on balls of your feet, and pull in your stomack muscles as though you were fatening a tight pair of trousers. Hold for 20 seconds then rest for 10. Repeat four times. Do it every 10 minutes as you walk, gradually increasing the length of time you hola your tummy in.

Before you go out walking, pull in your stomacj muscles, then tie a thin piece of string around your tummy so it fits snugly. It will help strengthen your core by keeping your stomach pulled in because as soon as you relax it will pinch!

Use Nordic walking poles- a bit like cross- country skiing without the skis or snow- which help work the muscles of  your chest and arms as well as your core muscles.

The walk ‘n’ talk

Description: The walk ‘n’ talk

What could be better- fresh air, friends and an opprtunity to boost your fitnees. If you are worried  about your staying power, walking with a friend is the way to stay motivated. And whether your preference is for long country rambles or a quick  stroll locally, there are a host of organisations who can match you up with other would- be walkers in your area. If you are struggling to find someone, check out www.go4awalk.com, www.walkmate.co.uk (aimed at aspiring hill walkers), the Ramblers’ Association (500 local groups) or SoleMates (the Facebook page for  www.walking.org)- all can help you find an individual or a local group to walk with. If you are aiming for the Moon Walk you can also find a training partner via Walk the Walk.

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