9 Mar 2005

Why Walk?

· Walking one mile in fifteen minutes burns about the same number of calories as running a mile in 8.30 minutes

· Walking two miles a day, three times a week, can reduce your weight by one pound every three weeks together with a healthy eating regime.

· Every minute you walk adds between 1.30 and two minutes to your life – a return rate of almost 2:1

· You only need to do it for 10 minutes at a time, as long as it's brisk - a study found women walking for 30 minutes five days a week had an almost identical increase in fitness to women who split their 30 minutes into three blocks of ten

Maximise your walk
Any sort of walking is better than no walking at all, but the following hints will help you get the most out of it:

· Keep your head high, shoulders relaxed and stomach in

· Bend your arms at the elbow and let them swing as you walk, driving you along

· Walk from the hip, not the thigh or knee

· If you're trying to walk faster, don't take longer steps. Focus instead on taking shorter, quicker steps and pushing off from the back foot and leg.

· Use the talk-test to check you are walking briskly enough but not too fast. Your breathing should be slightly heavier than normal, your heart working a little harder and you should feel a warm glow, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation.

· Gradually increase the speed or distance of your walks and set goals that are realistic for you

· Congratulate yourself when you reach each milestone