Power Walking tips from Walk the Walk

Posted on: 08 July 2013 by 50connect editorial

Health and fitness benefits for over 50s finding the time to walk for 30 minutes a day

Walking partnerDescribed by experts as the “nearest activity to perfect exercise”, those in the know have long used their daily stroll to improve fitness, tone up and lose weight. And if you take the speed up a notch or two, and start Power Walking, there are even more rewards to be seen. Power Walkers can burn up to 300 calories an hour, and mile for mile, walking at a minimum pace of 4 miles an hour, use the same amount of energy as runners. What’s more, walking at least 45 minutes four times a week at pace, you could lose up to 18lbs in a year without changing your diet ... if you need to that is!

Nina Barough, Founder and Chief Executive of breast cancer charity Walk the Walk, which organises Power Walking challenges across the country including the Playtex MoonWalk London, explains: “Power Walking is one of the few activities that really does work on almost every part of your body from your posture to your muscle tone. It works wonders on defining the shape your legs, lifting your bum and flattening your stomach by strengthening your core muscles, and you can expect to start seeing an improvement to your body profile after just two weeks of walking a minimum of three times a week.”  

There are longer term benefits associated with taking up the sport too, including reducing the risk of coronary disease, strokes and certain cancers, helping to prevent osteoporosis, and helping to strengthen your immune system if you can find the time to walk for 30 minutes a day.  

Nina continues: “At Walk the Walk, not only are we passionate about raising funds for vital breast cancer causes, we are also committed to encouraging men and women to become fitter and healthier by taking part in our challenges, as we believe that taking more responsibility for your own wellbeing is a vital part of prevention.”

See below for some of Nina’s top tips to help you make the most of your stride.

Use your arms!

Your arms control your speed. To go faster, hold them at a right angle and move them backwards and forwards from the shoulders, so that your upper body gets a workout too; keep your hands lightly cupped, not clenched, to ease tension. As you step on to your right foot, the left arm should move forward – so that the arms are always swinging in opposition to your feet.

Get the right footwear

Ensure you wear the correct shoes and make sure you wear them in properly before participating in a big event. Choose a shoe that is roomy enough so you can wiggle your toes easily, this will ensure your toes are protected and also those that are flexible (so don’t wear hiking boots) supportive and well cushioned.

Keep the challenge up

If you start to get bored, increase your speed or the distance you’re walking. Your body can quickly become used to exercise and begin to plateau.

Wear a pedometer

This will help you monitor your progress so that you know whether you’re improving or whether you need to step up the effort.

Find a friend

Walk with someone else. You can take it and turns to be the pace setter so that you are always progressing and motivating each other.

If none of your friends are keen, find a partner at walkthewalk Walking Pals Search.

For more information visit  Walk the Walk

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