Nordic Walking is the fitness trend for 2011!
It's low impact but still total body workout - it's a lifestyle activity!
How to... walk your way to fitness
January is the month when, propelled by guilt, we sign up to expensive gyms we then feel even guiltier about not using.
But there is an easier, cheaper and more pleasant way to stay fit. Walking.
Why not start on Boxing Day with a brisk hike to work off all that turkey and alcohol? Regular walking reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and osteoporosis. It’s great for controlling weight and keeping the heart and lungs healthy. Walking lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, boosts energy levels and may even help combat depression.
Don’t be too ambitious, says Des de Moor of the Ramblers (ramblers.org.uk). You’re better off thinking in terms of time than distance.
It takes half an hour to cover 1½ miles easily within our capabilities, or try to fit in a couple of brisk ten-minute walks a day, then build from there.
For beginners, do the talk test, says fitness coach Rachel Armstrong. If you can only gasp one-word replies to a conversation while walking, you’re working too hard.
If you are trying to get fit and burn energy, walk briskly for 15 to 20 minutes one day; walk briskly up a hill and repeat a couple of times on the next; and on the third day go for a long walk at a steady pace. /m:defjc>/m:rmargin>/m:lmargin>/m:dispdef>/m:smallfrac>
If you want to use weights, weighted vests are a better bet than dumbbells or ankle weights. /m:defjc>/m:rmargin>/m:lmargin>/m:dispdef>/m:smallfrac>
‘Walk as if you are late for an important appointment,’ says Armstrong. /m:defjc>/m:rmargin>/m:lmargin>/m:dispdef>/m:smallfrac>
Try speed walking or Nordic walking, which uses poles to work the upper body. It’s safer and encourages better posture (nordicwalking.co.uk)./m:defjc>/m:rmargin>/m:lmargin>/m:dispdef>/m:smallfrac>