Steps to walking fitness

Have you signed up for the Pink Ribbonwalk 2010? If so, why not start your training now, and by next May you'll be in peak condition to take part in the Breast Cancer Care walk!

Follow these expert training tips from fitness expert Joanna Hall and you'll be walking fit in no time.

1 Ditch the excuses!
Why wait to get started when you could be burning calories now? In just one hour you could burn around…
170 calories walking at a leisurely pace of two miles per hour.
238 calories if you stepped it up to a moderate three miles per hour.
272 calories when you hit a brisk four miles per hour.

2 Buy a pedometer

Cheap, easy to use and it will inspire you to walk better for longer! Just clip it to your belt to count your steps.

How many steps? 5,000 means sedentary, while 16,000 will help you keep the weight off without dieting. 10,000 steps will keep you fit and walking-ready!

3 Break in your trainers
'Don’t fall into the trap of digging out an old pair of trainers you’ve been using for years,' warns Joanna. 'Their tread and – most importantly – their shock absorbency will have decreased, even if they look in good condition. Spoil yourself – you’re worth it!'

We reckon buying from a store where the pros hang out is your best bet, and testing them out on a treadmill is the ultimate in finding the perfect fit. Break them in with weekend walking when the weather’s bright and crisp, while you’re ploughing through the housework or out on errands.

4 Practise your walking style
Do it right and walking becomes easier, you’ll be prone to fewer injuries and burn more calories.
- Look straight ahead. It’s great for posture and prevents neck stress.
- Keep your arms relaxed, elbows slightly bent and hands cupped. Move them front to back as you walk and don’t let hands rise above your chest. Going uphill? Bend your arms more to pump things up.
- Stand tall, with shoulders stacked over hips, hips over feet. Don’t lean forward or back, even if you’re heading uphill. You can “sit” back a little if you’re going down a steep incline, but still keep hips over feet.
- Walk naturally and take quicker rather than longer steps to increase speed.
- Strike with your heel first, then roll through to the ball of your foot.

5 Find yourself a walking buddy
There are plenty of people out there who can’t wait to get fit, feel fantastic and maybe walk for charity. Try joining a walking club in your area or, if they don’t exist, start one! Visit our Walking Club forum to make fitness buddies

Need an incentive? Sign up for our Breast Cancer Care Ribbonwalk

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