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Get walking: the workout walk

123 woman leaning on tree - 123 walkers crossing river - Get walking: the workout walk - Exercise - Diet & wellbeing -

Adding toning moves and pushing yourself to work harder will help turn your walk into a total body workout. Try these simple additions to improve the toning effect.

Vary the terrain – walking on soft surfaces like grass, mud or sand makes leg muscles work harder and burns more calories.

Add hills to increase calorie burning and help tone your hips and buttocks. When walking uphill, watch your posture, keeping the spine long. Walking downhill can be harder on your body (especially knees) than walking uphill, so slow down slightly, keep your knees slightly bent, and try to pull in your abdominal muscles to keep your pelvis stable.

Use trees en route to do an upright plank: lean forward at a 45-degree angle against the tree, arms straight out, weight mainly on the balls of your feet, and pull in your stomach muscles as though you were fastening a tight pair of trousers. Hold for 20 seconds then rest for 10. Repeat four times. Do it every 10 minutes as you walk, gradually increasing the length of time you hold your tummy in.

Before you go out walking, pull in your stomach muscles, then tie a thin piece of string around your tummy so it fits snugly. It will help strengthen your core by keeping your stomach pulled in because as soon as you relax it will pinch!

Use Nordic walking poles – a bit like cross-country skiing without the skis or snow – which help work the muscles of your chest and arms as well as your core muscles.

Choose the walk to suit you, or click through the page numbers at the bottom of the page...

The rehab walk

The no time walk

The stressbusting walk

The fat-burning power walk

The walk 'n' talk

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