Week 3: By now you’ll be walking faster and pushing your body harder, so get into the habit of doing some stretches after each walk.
Your Goal: To walk for 30 min on at least six days and increase your walking time to 45 min on at least three of these days. Aim to be doing the majority of your walks at a brisker pace.
Download the complete plan here.
Pay attention to your technique – especially once you start walking faster. Make sure you’re not leaning forward, which will affect your posture and put stress on your joints, and don’t make your stride too long. A greater number of small steps will help you move forward faster than fewer longer ones.
Add some intervals to today’s walk – walk for five minutes at your normal pace, then speed up to your fastest pace for three minutes before dropping back. Repeat twice during the walk.
Feel those endorphins flooding through your body. Studies have shown that walking is as effective as antidepressants in combating mild depression.
Have a rest day and do another activity, like swimming, dancing or yoga.
If you’re aiming to lose weight, just 15 minutes of walking has been shown to reduce chocolate cravings. Scientists at Exeter University in the UK think that walking affects brain chemicals that help regulate your mood and food cravings.
Do an interval-walk again today. Walk for five minutes at your normal pace and speed up for three minutes, before going back down again. Repeat three times during the walk.
Walk with the family – find a fun, short walk round a local country park or the grounds of a stately home.
Source: Good Housekeeping UK, March 2010